After a long and tough campaign season, American voters went to the polls to make their choice for President on Tuesday November 6. Citizens elected President Barack Obama, a Democrat, to a second term in office against his challenger, Republican Mitt Romney. As of Wednesday morning, Obama held 50% of the popular vote and at least 303 electoral votes. Mitt Romney held 48.4% of the popular vote and 206 electoral votes. A candidate needs at least 270 electoral votes to win the presidency.
Obama addressed cheering supporters at his campaign headquarters in Chicago, Illinois, as well as audiences watching at home on TV or online. The President thanked voters and spoke about the challenges ahead for the nation. He promised to work with leaders of both parties to improve the country. “Whether I earned your vote or not, I have listened to you. I have learned from you, and you’ve made me a better President,” Obama said. “And with your stories and your struggles, I return to the White House more determined and more inspired than ever about the work there is to do and the future that lies ahead.”
Mitt Romney, who was formerly the governor of Massachusetts, gave a concession speech from his campaign headquarters in Boston, Massachusetts. He congratulated President Obama on his victory and encouraged politicians to work together. “The nation, as you know, is at a critical point,” Romney said. “Our leaders have to reach across the aisle to do the people’s work. And we citizens also have to rise to the occasion.”
A President’s Life
Barack Obama was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, on August 4, 1961. After working as a community organizer, lawyer and professor, Obama entered politics. He served as an Illinois State Senator for eight years. In 2004, he was elected to the U.S. Senate. In 2008, Senator Obama ran against Senator John McCain for President. On January 20, 2009, Obama became the 44th President of the United States —and the first African-American to hold the nation’s top office. On January 20, 2013, Obama will have his second inauguration. Vice President Joe Biden will also hold his office for a second term.
A Day of Voting
With Election Day held just over a week after Hurricane Sandy caused widespread destruction across the Northeast and mid-Atlantic states, some wondered how it would affect voter turnout. But at least 118 million Americans still went to the polls—final votes were still being counted Wednesday. Some Americans waited for hours in line at their polling places for a chance to vote, especially in storm-ravaged areas in New York and New Jersey and in swing states such as Florida and Ohio.
Election Day was an important day for Congress, too, with key elections in several states for senators and representatives. When Congress begins a new session in January, Republicans will keep control of the House of Representatives, while Democrats will control the Senate. Massachusetts, Nebraska and Wisconsin each elected their first-ever female senators. In 2013, the Senate will welcome at least 19 female senators, a record number. New Hampshire also became the first state to elect both an all-women delegation for Congress and a female governor.
Americans must be 18 years old to vote. But that doesn’t mean kids can’t make their voices heard, too. Nearly 25,000 TFK readers made their choice for President by voting in TFK’s presidential poll. So which candidate would TFK readers elect? Barack Obama! President Obama won TFK’s poll (now closed) with 61% of the votes.