However, 61% of voters in Arkansas sided with Mitt Romney. In Missouri, that number was closer to 56%. By 11:45 p.m. the final numbers hadn't been tabulated.
David Cole, Chairman of the Missouri
Republican Party, released the following statement on Mitt Romney's victory in
"Millions of voters proudly
cast their ballots for
Romney's concession speech came just before 1 a.m. Eastern in Boston. "This is a time of great challenges and I pray that the president will be successful in guiding our nation."
In the end, an election many expected to come down to the
wire ended early. While Mr. Obama lost states he won four years ago, including
The president was buoyed in
One by one, projections showed battleground states falling
to Mr. Obama throughout Tuesday night:
It was enough to put him over the top even without the hard-fought battlegrounds of
After CBS News and other media outlets called the race after Mr. Obama was projected the winner in
The good news for Republicans on Tuesday: As expected, they
are projected to hold onto the House of Representatives. But the Senate, which
one year ago looked very likely to fall into Republican hands, was projected to
stay with the Democrats - thanks in part to missteps by Republicans in
It adds up to an election set to be remembered for
maintaining the status quo. After an oft-nasty battle in which the campaigns
and outside groups are projected to have spent a record-breaking $6 billion,
The CBS News exit poll showed Mr. Obama's victory was attributable to a double-digit advantage among women as well as huge advantages among young, urban and minority voters. (Romney led among married women, but unmarried women broke overwhelmingly to the president.) It was enough to overcome Romney's advantage among white, male, and older voters, as well as rural voters and those with high incomes.
Mr. Obama may ultimately fall short of the margin he won by four years ago - roughly seven percentage points nationally - in part because he performed worse among independents. The president won 52 percent to 44 percent among in 2008 independents. This year, the CBS News exit poll showed Romney winning by four points among that group, which made up 30 percent of the electorate.
Romney, the former
The Obama campaign spent handsomely early in the race in an attempt to portray the GOP nominee as a heartless plutocrat unconcerned with the plight of the middle class. While Romney's strong performance in the first presidential debate helped to counter that portrayal, the president rebounded in the second and third debates. And while polls showed that Republicans had the edge in voter enthusiasm, the Democrats' robust and sophisticated ground game appears to have given the president an advantage in driving turnout among his base.
For Republicans, this election will prompt soul searching. For the second straight presidential cycle, the GOP nominated a relatively moderate candidate and lost; conservative voices in the party will take the 2012 results as a sign that they need to shift right in 2016. For others, the election will mark an opportunity to push the party to shift gears as their base - white, rural and older voters - shrinks as a portion of the electorate. Contemplating a possible Romney loss before Tuesday, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said he would "go nuts" if he hears complaints it was because Romney wasn't conservative enough.
"We're not losing 95 percent of African-Americans and two-thirds of Hispanics and voters under 30 because we're not being hard-ass enough," he said.
Romney's running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan of
Mr. Obama will have little time to celebrate his triumph. The lame-duck Congress must now work to keep the nation from going off the "fiscal cliff" at the end of the year - the combination of automatic spending cuts and tax increases that economists say would cause a major drag on the economy.
The president spent a relatively small portion of his campaign discussing his second term agenda, but he did open up in an off-the-record October interview with the Des Moines Register that was later made public. The president predicted a "grand bargain" on the deficit within his first six months of his second term as well as a deal on immigration reform and corporate tax reform.
For now, however, Mr. Obama is certainly relishing a victory in what may well be the last campaign he will ever have to run.
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