President Barack Obama won a second term in the White House after a strong showing in the battleground states.
Ohio, a crucial state for Republican Mitt Romney, tipped the balance in Obama’s favor late Tuesday night. Florida voters were as divided as most observers expected and the result remained too close to call Wednesday afternoon.
High-profile Senate victories came in Virginia, where Democrat Tim Kaine defeated George Allen, and in Massachusetts, where Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren defeated incumbent Scott Brown. Missouri’s incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill fought off Republican Rep. Todd Aiken, who made news this summer for controversial rape comments. Another Senate candidate whose rape-related comments caused a backlash was Indiana Republican Richard Mourdock, who lost to Rep. Joe Donnelly.
Beyond the presidential and congressional races, several ballot measures attracted national attention this year. Residents of Maryland and Maine voted to legalize same-sex marriage. It marked the first time voters decided by referendum to give same-sex couples the right to marry. Colorado and Washington became the first states to legalize recreational marijuana, setting up a possible battle with the federal government.
After a bruising campaign, the focus shifted to what a second Obama term would look like. In a pre-election interview with an Iowa newspaper, Obama discussed the impending showdown on the federal deficit. He also mentioned comprehensive immigration reform as a second-term priority.
“We may have battled fiercely, but it’s only because we love this country deeply and we care so strongly about its future,” he said. “Tonight, despite all the hardship we’ve been through, despite all the frustrations of Washington, I’ve never been more hopeful about our future.”
Check out the photos and video below for more from Election Day 2012. Visit our fan page for additional election analysis.
The Washington Post’s Dan Balz, Karen Tumulty and Chris Cillizza break down what the next four years in Washington, D.C. will look like.