Obama defeated Romney in a series of key swing states despite a weak economic recovery and persistent high unemployment as U.S. voters decided between two starkly different visions for the country.
Obama’s narrow wins in Ohio, Wisconsin, Iowa, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire – all states that Romney had contested – effectively ended Romney’s hopes of capturing the 270 electoral votes needed to clinch the White House.
At least 120 million American voters were expected to cast votes in the race between the Democratic incumbent and Romney after a campaign focused on how to repair the ailing U.S. economy.
Obama enters his second four-year term faced with a difficult task of tackling $1 trillion annual deficits, reducing a $16 trillion national debt, overhauling expensive social programs and dealing with a gridlocked U.S. Congress that looked likely to maintain the same partisan makeup. DM
Photo: Supporters of U.S. President Barack Obama cheer during his election night rally in Chicago, November 6, 2012. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
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