Obama Coasts to Second Term

Barrington M. Salmon | 11/7/2012, 9:40 a.m.

President Barack Obama won re-election to a second term by handily beating Republican challenger Mitt Romney on Tuesday.

Obama's win ends a long and nasty race that up until the end was too close to call. Romney was unable to run the table on the swing states needed to take him above the 270 Electoral College votes needed to claim victory. He had to capture all or most of the 13 battleground states, including Florida, Ohio, Iowa and Wisconsin but fell short. He managed to grab North Carolina and Indiana. Well past midnight, one percentage point separated Romney and Obama in Florida and Virginia.

Obama campaign honchos were confidence, saying they expected the "ground game" to take care of business. Ultimately, the nation's 44th president swept 11 of those states as well as the popular vote.

Avis Jones DeWeever never had any doubt about the outcome.

"I do believe that the president will win on Tuesday," said DeWeever during an interview two days before the election. "Substantial shenanigans would be the only reason he wouldn't win. I'm American and a political scientist and I don't understand why it's this close. If Romney wins, given him holding back information and blatantly lying and answering both sides of an issue, it would provide a tremendous blow to the body politic."

Ordinary Washingtonians were elated.

"I'm ecstatic, relieved that President Obama was re-elected, that's all that I can say" said Carolyn Robertson, a 50-ish Southeast resident. The people knew exactly what they were doing. A lot of women voted for Obama while [Mitt] Romney basically attacked them when he referred to the 47 percent of victims, and that's what hurt him."

Maxine Charles agreed.

"I'm glad he was re-elected. He needs four more years to carry out his plans," said Charles, 68, also of Southeast. "Things are going to turn around and it will be a slow process, but things will be better."

Romney made a gracious concession speech after it became apparent that his cause was lost.

"The nation is at a critical time, we can't continue to engage in bickering," he said. "It's time for both parties to put the people before the politics ... we have to reach across the aisle."

Romney said he did the best he could to present his vision for America but voters made another choice.

Shortly after receiving a phone call from Romney two hours after he was declared the winner, Obama addressed an adoring crowd.

At Obama's Chicago headquarters at McCormick Place, more than 10,000 jubilant supporters of all hues, ethnicities and ages swayed, sang and cheered, basking in the glow of a hard-fought victory. The crowd was considerably smaller than the massive throng at Grant Park in 2008 but they were in a party mood.

Three days before the election, Audrey Anderson spent more than four hours in a long line under a blazing Fort Lauderdale sun waiting for her chance to cast a ballot.

The British native said she came prepared with a book, bottled water and large amounts of patience on Saturday, Nov. 3.