President Barack Obama is projected to win re-election as President of the United States, with 272 electoral votes, after Ohio was called in his favor at 11:25 p.m. ET tonight, by several network news organizations, as well as NPR. The New York Times is stating that Obama has carried the northeast states and is still holding a slight lead over Romney.
Republican challenger Mitt Romney won Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Wyoming.
The popular votes are still being counted, but as the nation learned in 2000, it is the electoral votes that count. “It is now mathematically impossible for Mitt Romney to catch up,” said CBS News.
Colorado, Florida, Nevada, and Virginia remain too close to call.
[Update: As of 1 a.m., Obama received 303 electoral votes to Romney’s 203 electoral votes, and has around 100,000 more popular votes.]
The popular vote for the two candidates, as of 11:41 p.m., was within 200,000 votes of each other.
At 12:57 p.m., Mitt Romney made his concession/thank you speech to his supporters and America.
“The nation is at a critical point… we can’t afford partisan bickering,” he said. “We look to Democrats and Republicans in government, at all levels, to put people before politics. I believe in America [and] the people of America… This election is over, but our principles endure… America has chosen another leader. Ann and I join you and let’s pray for him and for this great nation. Thank you and God bless.”
Obama took the stage at 1:40 a.m., saying we “moved forward because of [us]… while we have the belief that each of us pursue our own individual dreams, we rise and fall together as one nation and as one people.”
“The American people reminded us that the road has been hard, but we have picked ourselves up, fought our way back, and we know in our hearts that in the United States of America, the best is yet to come,” he said. “[Thank you] to every American who participated in this election.”
The president then went on to list jobs, domestic and military strength, environmental conservatism as well as global and technological competitiveness, education, and the economy as among the issues to be addressed in the future.
“With your stories and your struggle, I return to the White House more determined than ever [to face] the future that lies ahead,” he said.
“Tonight, you voted for action, not politics as usual [and] in the coming weeks and months, I look forward to meeting and working [towards] reducing deficit, reforming tax code, fixing immigration system, and freeing ourselves from foreign oil. We’ve got more work to do. but that doesn’t mean your work is done. the role of citizen in our democracy does not end with your vote. America’s never been about what can be done for us, but what can be done by us – the hard and necessary work of self-government. … This country has more wealth than any nation but that’s not what makes us rich; we have [a great] military, but that’s not what makes us strong… It’s the bonds that holds together the most diverse nation on earth… A belief that this country only works when we work together [and] comes with responsibility as well as rights.. That’s what makes America great.
“I believe we can seize this future together because… we are greater than the sum of our individual ambitions, more than a collection of red and blue states. We are and forever will be, the United States of America.”
Now that Obama will continue as president for the next four years, the next question is how he and whether he will turn this approval into action.