Kierra Leggett | Editor-in-Chief
President Barack Obama may have a lot of problems he has to deal with, but as of Tuesday, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney is no longer one of them. With 303 electoral votes, Obama won re-election and secured his place in the White House for another four years.
At about 1:30 a.m. Wednesday, Obama addressed the American public from a stage in his hometown of Chicago. He was accompanied by his wife and two daughters.
“We are an American family, and we rise or fall together as one nation and as one people,” Obama said. “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, and we know in our hearts that for the United States of America the best has yet to come.”
Romney won 206 electoral votes and 48 percent of the popular vote.
In his brief concession speech, which he gave at about 1 a.m. Wednesday, Romney urged Americans to unite. “The nation, as you know, is at a critical point,” Romney said. “At a time like this, we can’t risk partisan bickering and political posturing. Our leaders have to reach across the aisle to do the people’s work.”
With the Republican Party gaining control in the House of Representatives and Democrats strengthening its control in the Senate, the willingness of Congress to set aside party ties will be crucial to the effectiveness of the legislative branch during Obama’s second term.
In keeping with his slogan throughout the 2012 campaign, Obama told the crowd Wednesday of the challenges that will likely arise in his efforts to move the country forward. “Now, we will disagree, sometimes fiercely … as it has for more than two centuries, progress will come in fits and starts. It’s not always a smooth path.”
Colton Palmer, an alumnus of N.C. State, was not only proud that Obama was re-elected, but also that the younger generation played such a pivotal role in it. “I was happy to see our generation push hard for a second term,” Palmer said. “I believe a lot of people thought we weren’t going to show up this go round, but we did. I’m proud to be an American and even more proud to be a young African-American. President Obama is a great example for African-American youth and the perfect example of a real man, a strong black man.”
Like Palmer, junior communication major Nija Toshumba was also excited to learn that the President would have a second term to continue moving the U.S. forward. “ I personally thought it was amazing [that Obama won],” Toshumba said. “I had my doubts because of all the negative things I heard and saw, but I never truly gave up hope. I can’t wait to see what he has in store for the next four years.”
While Obama won early in Vermont, Maine, and Connecticut, his re-election was heavily contingent on him winning in the key battleground states of Florida, Ohio, Virginia, Colorado, Wisconsin, Virginia, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Iowa, North Carolina and New Hampshire. In the end, he won every one of them except North Carolina.
Fox News reported that an overwhelming number of young and minority voters were the driving force in this year’s election. These are votes the Obama team campaigned hard for in the months leading up to Election Day. Michelle Obama, Bill Clinton and the President himself all made trips to N.C. State and other campuses in North Carolina and the U.S.
N.C. State student Khalia Braswell, who saw Obama speak during his visit to campus in 2011, supported the President in this year’s election because of his policies that help students. “His policies have made my financial aid increase, and some of my healthcare needs are now free,” Braswell said.
Braswell, a computer science major, was also happy to give Obama her vote because of his focus on science and technology. “[Obama] has an interest in science, technology, engineering and math, which is also important to me as a graduating senior in computer science. He understands the importance of STEM in taking this country forward,” Braswell said.
In the hours leading up to the announcement of Obama’s re-election, N.C. State students gathered in various places around campus for election viewing parties. The brothers of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc. hosted one of these parties in D.H. Hill library. Students on other campuses across North Carolina congregated to watch the results of the election as well.
When students at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University in Greensboro learned of President Obama’s re-election, they took to their campus reflection pool, splashing around in the water in celebration.
Celebrations for President Obama’s re-election will likely carry on well into January for Obama’s second inauguration Monday, Jan. 21.
Obama will make history once again, now, as the first African-American man to serve two terms as President of the United States of America.