American voters elected President Barack Obama to another four years in office Tuesday.
Obama defeated former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney to win a second presidential term. Obama was a freshman senator from Illinois when Americans elected him as the country’s first black president in 2008.
In his acceptance speech, Obama said that Americans rise and fall together. Obama said brighter days are ahead.
“We know in our hearts that in the United States of America, the best is yet to come,” Obama said.
Penn State College Democrats President Drew McGehrin said Obama’s win means Americans recognize the need to continue American prosperity and progress.
“This re-election is a recognition and a testament to the accomplishments and successes Obama has made over these past four years,” McGehrin (senior-history and religious studies) said.
The fiscal cliff and other economic problems will continue to be major issues in Obama’s presidency, McGehrin said. He said Obama and Congress will need to pass legislation to continue to bring the economy back from the doldrums.
Daryl Schafer, Centre County Republican Party chairman, said he doesn’t think the economy is going to recovery as quickly as it should with Obama in office for another four years. His re-election is a disappointment to Centre County voters, who elected Romney, he said.
Romney carried Centre County by 20 votes, according to county election results.
As of 1:30 a.m., Obama won 303 electoral college votes compared to Republican presidential candidate Romney’s 203. A candidate must earn 270 Electoral College votes to win the presidency.
Obama was winning the popular vote by about half a million votes as of press time.
“This is a time of great challenges for America, and I pray that the president will be successful in guiding our nation,” Romney said in his concession speech. “We can't risk partisan bickering and political posturing. Our leaders have to work across the aisle to do the people's work.”
Anthony Christina, chairman of the Pennsylvania Federation of College Republicans, said Romney and the Republican Party knew from the beginning of the election cycle that it was an uphill battle to unseat the president. Nonetheless, Republicans ran a competitive campaign, Christina (senior-history and political science) said.
“The amount of states he put back in play also showed the pulse of America,” Christina said.
Although Christina said he was with the state party in Harrisburg, many of the Penn State College Republicans gathered at Champs Sports Grill, 1611 N. Atherton St., to watch the election results pour in from around the country on a big-screen TV.
John Wortman (freshman-secondary education) said he gives Romney credit for entering the race. Wortman, a member of the Penn State College Republicans, said Romney ran the best race the Republican Party could muster. Wortman said Obama’s ground game and incumbent advantage gave him an edge in key swing states.
As it is, the Republican Party isn’t winning national elections because it doesn’t get support from some subsets of the population, Wortman said. Republicans need to decide how they want to move forward, he said.
Romney told reporters he had written a victory speech that he thought would conclude his years-long quest for the presidency.
“I feel like we put it all on the field. We left nothing in the locker room. We fought to the very end,” Romney told reporters aboard his plane.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.