America re-elects President Barack Obama
With 99 percent reporting, Obama won the popular vote in Pennsylvania by a margin of 5.2 percent — 52.0 percent to Romney’s 46.8
November 7, 2012, 2:53 am·
Henry Willson | Columbia Daily Spectator
President Barack Obama won a second term in office with 303 electoral votes, including Pennsylvania’s 20, as of 2 a.m.
The candidates remained close in the popular vote. Obama topped Republican candidate Mitt Romney 50 to 49 percent as of 2 a.m., according to CNN.
With 99 percent reporting, Obama won the popular vote in Pennsylvania by a margin of 5.2 percent — 52.0 percent to Romney’s 46.8. Obama carried the state by 2.5 percent less than he did in 2008.
He won by a larger margin in Philadelphia, with 85.2 to Romney’s 14.1 percent as of 2 a.m with 96.7 percent reporting.
Ward 27, which encompasses campus, reported similar results to Philadelphia’s. Obama beat Romney with 84.5 to 13.5 percent of the vote with 91.3 percent reporting as of 2 a.m.
However, Penn students voted for Obama at a lower rate than Philadelphians. Nine polling locations on and around campus that represent 11 districts cast 78.3 percent of votes for Obama, and 19.4 percent went to Romney.
“The president did better than expected in some swing states,” political science professor Rogers Smith said. “The view all along was he had many more paths to victory in the Electoral College.”
Incumbent Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) won his seat over Republican challenger Tom Smith by 53.6 to 44.7 percent with 99 percent reporting.
The parties controlling Congress remain the same. The Democrats held onto the Senate, gaining one seat for a total majority of 52 seats to the Republican’s 44 and the Independent’s one, as of 2 a.m.
Republicans are projected to keep the House. As of 2:30 a.m., Republicans control 224 seats to the Democrats’ 168. This is a zero net gain for Republicans and a one seat net gain for Democrats. Republican vice presidential contender Paul Ryan retained his seat in the House.
Obama will have battles ahead of him with the divided Congress, particularly over the budget.
“I do think that Obama will push for comprehensive immigration reform fairly early on and the Republicans will feel enormous pressure to go along with that,” Smith said. “If they can get immigration disputes off the agenda, they have a chance to compete for the Latino vote again and it is their inability to compete for the Latino vote that is really hurting them now.”
He added that Obama would push for issues such as education, transportation and energy infrastructure, hoping to “build a legacy.”
Romney delivered his concession speech at around 1 a.m from Boston. He thanked those close to his campaign and his family. While wishing Obama the best, he returned to his theme of economic reform and principles.
“I ran for office because I’m concerned about America … The election is over, but our principles endure,” he said. “I so wish that I had been able to fulfill your hopes and lead the country in the different direction.”
“The Republican Party is going to have a period of reflection and rebuilding,” Smith said. “[They are] going to have to change in order to compete successfully in national elections.”
Obama’s passionate victory speech, delivered from Chicago, reiterated his campaign taglines and the theme of unity.
“We are not as divided as our politics suggest,” he said. “We remain more than a collection of red and blue states.”
He also reminded the country that “progress will come in fits and starts.”
“The re-election of Barack Obama — the re-election of the first person of modern African descent to lead a predominantly European-descended country — is a further historic step forward in America’s unfinished struggle towards racial equality,” Smith said.