Barack Obama finished off a hard-fought race with a victory, grabbing his reelection as the 44th President of the United States on Tuesday night.
As most major networks began calling the election around 8:20 p.m., hundreds of students anxiously following a live broadcast in the Ronald Tutor Campus Center courtyard erupted in screams and cheers.
Though the popular vote appeared close, Obama took enough key states to make it nearly impossible for Republican challenger Mitt Romney to win the 270 electoral votes needed to be elected president.
As of press time, Obama took 303 electoral college votes, as Romney lagged behind at 206.
Obama won the battleground states of New Hampshire and Pennsylvania, and was widely projected to win Wisconsin, making it impossible for Romney to catch up.
Exit polls and most major networks also predicted that Obama would carry Ohio, taking 18 more key electoral college votes that Romney would have needed to win.
The president also took the swing states of Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada and Virginia, along with historically blue states including California, New York and Illinois.
Obama’s campaign tweeted from his official Twitter account soon after the race was called.
“We’re all in this together. That’s how we campaigned, and that’s who we are. Thank you,” he wrote.
In his acceptance speech, Obama thanked not only his campaign team, but also the electorate as a whole.
“I want to thank every American who participated in this election. Whether you voted for the very first time, or waiting in line for a very long time — by the way, we have to fix that,” he said. “Whether you pounded the pavement or picked up the phone. Whether you held an Obama sign or a Romney sign, you made your voice heard and you made a difference.”
Obama also emphasized that though he won this battle, he still expects to face challenges and backlash in his second term.
In his second term, the president faces a divided Congress, with a majority of Democrats controlling the Senate and the Republicans controlling the House of Representatives.
“When we go through tough times, when we make big decisions as a country, it necessarily stirs up passions and stirs up controversy,” he said. “It won’t change after tonight.”
The president also addressed the occasionally nasty campaign, and emphasized his respect for Romney.
“We may have battled fiercely, but it’s only because we love this country deeply and we care so strongly about its future,” Obama said. “In the weeks ahead, I also look forward to sitting down with Gov. Romney to talk about how we can work together to move this country forward.”
Romney smiled and joked in his concession speech, remarking that his wife Ann “would have made a wonderful First Lady.” Despite his loss, Romney sent his best wishes to Obama and his family.
“This is a time of great challenges for America,” Romney said, “and I pray that the president will be successful in guiding our nation.”
He also expressed his hope for the nation’s recovery and that Obama would the president to help the nation recover.
“I believe in America, I believe in the people of America, and I ran for office because I am concerned about America,” Romney said. “This election is over, but the principles endure.”
The President closed the night with his hope that the nation could bypass partisanship.
“We remain more than a collection of red states and blue states,” Obama said. “We are and forever will be the United States of America.”