George E. Curry | NNPA | 11/7/2012, 5 p.m.
WASHINGTON (NNPA)--After riding to victory in Ohio on the strength of his successful auto bailout plan and a come-from-behind victory in Virginia and possibly Florida, President Barack Obama was riding high on Wednesday.
Obama was ahead of Republican challenger Mitt Romney Tuesday night by approximately 1 million votes in the general election, but is expected to win the Electoral College by a much larger margin when electors meet on Dec. 17 to officially determine who becomes the next president of the United States. Of the 538 electors, Obama needs only 270 to win. He is poised to collect approximately 322 votes in the Electoral College to Romney's 206. If that figure holds up, it will be down from the 365 electoral votes Obama won in 2008.
Not only did Obama become the first Black president in 2008, he also becomes the first African American to win a second term in the House. Following in the footsteps of Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, his election marks the third consecutive time a U.S. president has been re-elected to a second term.
Although experts had predicted a long night before a victor would be declared, CNN announced Obama as the projected winner at 11:18 p.m. EST. With the outcome still unknown at the time in swing states Florida, Ohio, Colorado, Virginia and Nevada. Ohio, the Buckeye state put Obama over the top.
Obama swept to victory by reassembling his progressive coalition of Blacks, Latinos, youth, unmarried women, Jews, union members and gay men and lesbians.
Speaking to cheering supporters in Chicago, Obama said: "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 is yet to come."
Blacks and Latinos voted overwhelmingly in favor Obama, with the president again earning more than 90 percent of the African American vote and 71 percent of Latinos, according to exit polls.
Women favored Obama 55 percent to 43 percent, about the same as it was four years ago (56 percent). But there was a sharp division among females, with unmarried women preferring Obama 68 percent to 30 percent and married women backing Romney 53 percent to 46 percent.
Among White voters, Romney led Obama 58 percent to 40 percent, three points better than John McCain's showing in 2008. Obama received only 36 percent of the White male vote, compared with 41 percent four years ago.
Blacks of every age group proved that they had Obama's back: 18-29 (91 percent), 30-44 (94 percent), 45-64 (93 percent) and 65 and above (93 percent).
Obama did better with families earning less than $50,000 a year, Romney did slightly better with middle-class voters and held a wider margin among those earning $100,000 or more. Obama again won the youth vote, though by a smaller margin than four years ago.
Obama and Vice President Joe Biden carried most of the swing states, including: Michigan, Romney's birthplace; Massachusetts, where Romney served as governor; New Hampshire, where Romney has a summer home; Wisconsin, the home state of Congressman Paul Ryan, the Republican vice presidential nominee, as well as Ohio, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Nevada and Virginia.