Washington: Barack Obama today won a historic election to get a second term as US President, overcoming a stiff challenge from Republican Mitt Romney defying concerns over his handling of economy and anxiety over the future.
A votary of strong ties with India, 51-year-old Obama, the first black American to occupy the White House, scored what turned out to be a comfortable victory over Romney after a bitter and costly campaign running over months with his rivals attacking him on issues of unemployment and recession.
Disproving predictions of a narrow victory in a very tight race, the incumbent won the election in crucial battleground states after a neck-and-neck race in the initial stages, getting 303 electoral votes against 206 of Romney in a college of 535 votes.
Notwithstanding doubts over his ability to revive economy from the effects of the crisis, the worst after the Great Depression of 1930s, voters appeared to have chosen status quo leaving Democrats with control of the Senate and Republicans the House of Representatives.
What tilted the race in Obama's favour was the massive swing he got from the victory in California, which has the largest number of 55 electoral votes, and Ohio with 18. Till California was called Romney had led over Obama.
Obama also walked away with wins in the swing states of Colorado, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, Wisconsin and Michigan.
Pollsters had even apprehended a tie after the Presidential debates and surveys, but in the ultimate analysis Obama got over 300 votes but not anywhere near his 2008 score of 349.
After the networks declared Obama the winner, 65-year-old Romney called him and congratulated him. "This is a time of great challenge for our nation. I pray the President will be successful in guiding our nation," he told his supporters.
The President reciprocated his sentiments and congratulated him on a hard-fought campaign.