Propelled by wins in key battleground states, President Barack Obama decisively won a second term in the White House Tuesday night.
Obama became the clear winner shortly after 11 p.m. when he took the victory in Ohio, one of the most influential swing states. He also collected key wins in Colorado, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, Virginia and Wisconsin. These victories combined with the many electoral votes from California and New York pushed Obama well over the necessary 270 electoral votes to win the election.
Gov. Mitt Romney delivered his concession speech shortly before 1 a.m. Wednesday. “I have just called President Obama to congratulate him on his victory,” he said. “This is a time of great challenges for America, and I pray that the president will be successful in guiding our nation.”
In his acceptance speech, Obama said the best is yet to come. “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,” he 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.”
In the Congressional races, the Democrats maintained control of the Senate, winning significant victories in Virginia, Ohio, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Indiana. The GOP, however, remained in control of the House.
At the Election Watch Party in the Student Center Tuesday night, students shared their views and reactions to the election results.
Andrew Eberle, a junior health, fitness and recreation major, attributed Romney’s loss to his failure to appeal to undecided voters in swing states. “Romney lost this election because he failed to embrace the third-party and independent vote,” he said. “He definitely could have embraced them at the convention, and I’m guessing that’s exactly where he lost.”
Senior political science major Heather Osborne said she was not surprised by the outcome of the election because of the advantages an incumbent possesses. “The debates gave Romney much-needed traction and helped him a lot,” Osborne said. In the end, however, people are often influenced by name recognition, which favored Obama, she said.
Entering his second term, President Obama still has many challenges to face, namely the economy, which, according to exit polls, is the most significant issue on Americans’ minds.
Political science professor Mrs. Linda Abrams said Obama will now be looking to cement his presidential legacy. “He will either push harder for his liberal agenda or he will try to preserve his legacy by reaching across to Republicans and working together,” she said.