Barack Obama wins second term with 332 electoral votes

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Photo courtesy of Pete Souza

Barack Obama was re-elected president of the United States on Tuesday, November 6, decidedly defeating Governor Mitt Romney.

Obama proved victorious in the all-important battleground states of New Hampshire, Iowa, Virginia, Wisconsin, Ohio, Colorado, Nevada and Florida.  Winning these states made it impossible for Romney to earn enough electoral votes to claim the presidency. Only North Carolina, a swing state after it went for Obama in 2008, went to Romney.  After each state had its say, Obama earned 332 electoral votes to Romney’s 206 votes. The media networks called the election at approximately 11:15pm on Tuesday night.

The popular vote, however, was closer than Obama’s Electoral College win suggests. In terms of overall votes cast, the president earned 51% of the votes and the governor earned 48%. Exit polls showed that Obama owed his victory to substantial leads over minority voters (particularly in the Hispanic, Asian and African American communities), single female voters, and young voters.

Obama’s re-election as president extends the historic nature of his presidency, giving him the opportunity to serve as the first black president of the United States for two consecutive terms.  Moreover, President Obama will now be listed with Ronald Reagan, Dwight Eisenhower, and Franklin D. Roosevelt as the only presidents of the past hundred years to win more than 50% of the popular vote twice.

Following his triumph in the election, Obama addressed his supporters. “Tonight in this election, you, the American people, reminded us that while our road has been hard, while our journey has been long, we have picked ourselves up, we have fought our way back. We know in our hearts that for the United States of America, the best is yet to come.”

Mitt Romney, speaking before the president, conceded defeat. “I ran for office because I’m concerned for America. Like so many of you, Paul and I have left everything on the field. We have given our all to this campaign,” the Republican candidate said.  Romney also pledged to pray for Barack Obama.

At THHS, as with all areas of the country, opinions on the election were varied. When asked about her perspective on the results, Nadia Khan, freshman, answered, “I felt that many people were happy that Obama won because they felt that they needed someone to be there for them. I, personally, think that a businessman such as Mitt Romney could have benefited the country in terms of the deficit.”

Sophomore Igor Portnoi also hoped that Romney would win the election. “I supported Mitt Romney throughout his campaign, and I supported his ideals, but sadly on Election Day, Barack Obama won; both candidates did a great job campaigning and debating, but America picked Obama to remain as president.”

“I was pleased by Mr. Obama’s victory, because it was also a victory for women and for women’s rights,” said Nazifa Nasim, senior.

History teacher, Alex Wood, said, “I’m happy Obama won. I think his policies are better than Romney’s.”  That’s not to say that Mr. Wood approves of all the president’s policies: “I’m lukewarm about Obama’s educational policies, because I don’t think high-stake tests are always the best way to find out what a student knows.”

“It was a no-brainer that Obama won the election, because Mitt Romney contradicted himself so many times throughout the election that I lost count,” Fariha Hussain, senior, said.

Freshman Sandhya Sewnauth added, “I think with Obama’s victory in the election, we can expect more education reforms, and I think that it’s important that he learns to work with the Republicans since they still have the house majority.”

Obama’s presidency will allow the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (popularly known as “Obamacare”) to survive, which Romney vowed to repeal. The bill will focus on making adjustments to medical services nationwide.  Mr. Wood stated, “Obamacare will stay in place, and that’s a huge victory. There are millions of people in America without health insurance and hopefully that will change when Obamacare gets fully implemented.”

When asked what else Americans can expect from a second Obama term, Mr. Wood added, “We might get a tax system which raises taxes on the wealthy. If you care about the deficit, that’s a good thing.”