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UPDATED: 11/7/2012 8:13 a.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) — President Barack Obama has won a second term in the White House.
The Democratic incumbent took enough battleground states to push past the 270 needed to win the presidency, CBS projected Tuesday evening. Obama faced a tight race with Republican Mitt Romney that boiled down to a handful of swing states, including Florida, Ohio and North Carolina.
In the end, Obama carried nearly all of the nine swing states, losing only in North Carolina. While Florida remains too close to call, Obama has 303 electoral votes to Romney’s 206. Obama carried, Ohio, New Hampshire, Colorado, Virginia, Wisconsin, Nevada and Iowa.
Obama is leading in the popular vote, 50 percent to 48 percent.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Steve Miller Reports
Obama addressed about 16,000 enthusiastic supporters at Chicago’s McCormick Place early Wednesday. In his 20-minute acceptance speech, the president pledged to forge bipartisan alliances to solve the nation’s lingering problems.
“Tonight you voted for action, not politics as usual,” Obama said. “You elected us to focus on your jobs – not ours. And in the coming weeks and months, I am looking forward to reaching out and working with leaders of both parties to meet the challenges we can only solve together – reducing our deficit, reforming our tax code, fixing our immigration system, freeing ourselves from foreign oil. We’ve got more work to do.”
Despite the lagging economy WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports Obama’s victory in 2012 mirrored his historic win in 2008: The president polled strongly among women, young people and African Americans. While exit polls showed that the most important issue for voters was the economy, most said they didn’t feel worse off than they did four years ago.
LISTEN: WBBM Political Editor Craig Dellimore Reports
The contentious, $2 billion 2012 presidential race, once considered a relatively sure bet for Obama, transformed into a much closer contest after Romney’s confident appearance at the first presidential debate, Oct. 3 in Denver. Obama, in contrast, seemed ill-prepared, but rebounded for subsequent debates on Oct. 16 and 22.
Obama, a former community organizer-turned-state legislator, arrived in his hometown of Chicago late Monday to spend Election Day and Night in the Windy City. The president spent the day doing radio and television interviews for battleground-state markets. But he also took time to play basketball with friends such as former state comptroller Alexi Giannoulias and former Chicago Bull Scottie Pippen.
His acceptance speech was on a grander scale four years ago. Then, President-Elect Obama addressed nearly 250,000 people outdoors at Grant Park. Weather and security concerns kept the event indoors this time, with considerably fewer people.
Romney — speaking from Boston and joined by his wife, Ann, and family — took the stage to concede defeat shortly before midnight Chicago time.
He urged political leaders to reach across the aisle to cooperate for the good of the country.
“I so wish that I had been able to fulfill your hopes to lead the country in a different direction, but the nation chose another leader,” Romney said. “And so Ann and I join with you to earnestly pray for him and for this great nation.”