Saturday

28th May 2016

Four more years: Obama claims decisive win

  • Back in the White House for four more years (Photo: Barack Obama)

Barack Obama has been re-elected as President of the United States after claiming a close but decisive victory over Republican challenger Mitt Romney.

With Florida the only close state yet to be formally declared, Obama had secured 303 electoral college votes to Romney's 203, comfortably above the 270 mark needed for victory.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

Florida is set for a recount with Obama claiming a narrow provisional win of around 60,000 votes, comfortably within the 0.5% which automatically triggers a recount. Meanwhile, the popular vote remains in a dead-heat, with Obama likely to win by around 1 million votes on a turnout projected to be between 125-130 million.

In his acceptance speech made from Chicago, Obama told party supporters that he would meet with Mitt Romney and Republican leaders in the coming weeks in a bid to bridge the divide between Democrats and Republicans. "The American family would rise and fall together as one nation", he said, adding that "tonight you voted for action not politics."

"Our economy is recovering, a decade of war is ending, and whether I earned your vote or not, I have listened to you, I have learned, and will return to the White House more inspired and determined than ever," he said.

Nonetheless, Obama faces a bitterly divided America with his first policy challenge to reach a budget deal to take control of the country's national debt.

An attempt to reach a bipartisan agreement on a package of tax rises on the wealthy and spending cuts collapsed in the summer, the most obvious sign of political deadlock between the parties that became particularly acute after the Republicans claimed a shock victory in congressional elections in 2010. The deadlock in Congress could continue. While the Democrats strengthened their grip on the Senate, picking up seats in Massachusetts and Indiana, they failed to make inroads on the Republican majority in the House of Representatives.

Psephologists are projecting that white voters backed Romney by a comfortable margin, with Obama set to win under 40 percent. Despite this, Obama had the changing face of America, which is estimated to cease being a white-majority country between 2040 and 2050. He took 70 percent of the Hispanic vote, and a majority of women voters, as well as an overwhelming majority of African-Americans.

Conceding defeat from his campaign headquarters in Boston, Massachusetts, Mitt Romney said that "the nation is at a crucial juncture, and can't risk partisan bickering and political posturing." "Democrats and Republicans at all levels of government should put the people before the politics", he said.

Floridian Republicans had started the evening confident of victory. Among several hundred campaign workers and candidates In the Picasso ballroom of the St Petersburg Hilton, Cecilia, a local canvassing co-ordinator, was upbeat. The turnout is strong and if her "community reflects the mood of the nation then it will be a landslide" she says.

But their early optimism soon faded as Romney quickly fell behind in Ohio and Florida, both of which he needed to win to have a chance of claiming a majority in the electoral college. Privately, Republican campaigners admitted that the Democrat 'ground game' had been the determining factor in claiming Florida .

Obama's victory was quickly welcomed by European Commission president Jose Barroso and European Council president Herman van Rompuy. In a joint statement they called on the US to "unlock the unparalleled potential of the transatlantic market".

We are also ready to continue our intense cooperation in foreign policy issues and in the promotion of our common values, they added.

News in Brief

  1. Syrian refugees sue Denmark over immigration law
  2. Ukraine bans Gorbachev for backing Crimea's seizure
  3. Dozens dead in two shipwrecks outside Libya
  4. Slovak PM says his country is no place for Muslims
  5. Juncker's spin-doctor warns of populist 'horror'
  6. EU urges Hungary to end discrimination of Roma children
  7. Majority of voters think UK will stay in EU
  8. Leading MEP says Greek bailout will not work

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. ACCAEducation and Training 2020 - Giving Young People the Workplace Skills They Need
  2. EPSUTrade Unions Back New Undeclared Work Platform
  3. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceCould targeting children’s fitness boost academic performance?
  4. World VisionDeclares the World Humanitarian Summit a Positive Step in a Longer Journey to Ending Need
  5. EJCPresident Dr. Moshe Kantor on Brexit and the Jewish Question
  6. Swedish EnterprisesNew rules for posted workers - Better Protection or the End of Posting ?
  7. World VisionWhy The EU Needs to Put Children at the Centre of Emergencies - In Their Words
  8. ACCASustainability Reporting in Danger of Losing Its Momentum Says ACCA and CDSB
  9. Dialogue PlatformDiversity as Heritage of Humanity! Join the “Colors of the World“ Show at the EP
  10. Centre Maurits CoppietersNew Responses to the Basque Peace Process? MEP Juaristi on Stateless Challenges Conference
  11. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceImproving Cardiovascular Health Begins by Closing the Gap in Sex Disparities
  12. IPHRBrussels Talks to Take Stock of Human Rights in Turkmenistan