And just like that! The 2012 election came to end, within an hour of the close of polls.
CNN called the projected victory for President Obama shortly before 9 pm PST Tuesday evening. I was at a crowded downtown San Jose restaurant for a local candidate’s watch party when the announcement flickered over the TVs in the bar. The whole room erupted into cheers.
A decisive winner wasn’t expected until much later in the night (or week), what with the allegations of voter suppression swirling around the hours-long waiting at Florida polls and with the contentions over provisional ballots in Ohio. But Ohio turned blue, with less than a half-percent margin (49.4% for Obama, 48.9% for Romney). As of 9:40 pm, Florida’s hanging light blue (50% for Obama, 49% for Romney).
CHICAGO, Nov. 6, 2012 U.S. President Barack Obama waves to supporters at an Election Night rally in Chicago, Illinois on Nov. 6, 2012. U.S. media projections showed that Obama won the 2012 presidential election on Tuesday after securing 270 electoral votes. (Xinhua/ Zhang Jun Yang Lei) (Credit Image: © Zhang Jun/Xinhua/ZUMAPRESS.com)
Tonight's election prompted over 20 million tweets, making it the the most-tweeted event in U.S. political history.
My faith has been restored in the American electorate. President Barack Obama has won a second term. :-) @obama2012
Commenters also noted that Obama’s victory shows how much the Democrats inclusive platform resonated with the American public:
POTUS is pro-gay marriage, will probably get a couple of Supremes. We just saved Roe and probably overturned DOMA.
The difference in crowd diversity between Romney and Obama is so damn telling. Obama's crowd looks like America.
I love seeing how diverse Obama's crowd at mccormick place is. <3.
A country that used to buy and sell black people as chattel has now twice elected a black man to its highest office.
President Obama about to speak. Thousands of diverse Americans here. It is beautiful!
Meantime, crowds packed McCormick Place in Chicago, dancing and taking in the scene, where the old President Obama came back, invigorating his fans, while also graciously extending an olive branch to the GOP. How wonderful to see the president in an uplifting mode once again, after his dour shadow showed up at the debates last month.
However, don't confuse him with the Barack Obama of 2008, the man who appeared onstage tonight is also a seasoned leader who knows full well he has a tough road ahead and how much collateral damage this campaign season has wreaked. He congratulated his competitors, and reached out to their supporters. Some highlights of his speech:
“Whether you have an Obama sign or a Romney sign, you made your voice heard and you made a difference.”
"Democracy in a nation of 3oo million can be noisy and messy. It necessarily stirs passions, stirs controversy. That won’t change after tonight. These arguments we have are a mark of dignity."
The message rang loud and clear for the Democratic party faithful. The question is: will the Republicans hear it, as well?
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