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Nam Y. Huh/AP
Four more years

Barack Obama wins second term as US President

The Democratic incumbent fends off the challenge of Mitt Romney to clinch Ohio – and four more years in the White House.

BARACK OBAMA has won a second term as President of the United States, defeating the challenge of former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney in a fiercely contested election.

With all the major US television networks having called the crucial swing state of Ohio in his favour, Obama held 303 electoral college votes – and cleared the 270 barrier needed to secure a second four-year term.

With only Florida (29) left to be declared, Obama had won 25 states plus the District of Colombia, while Romney had won 24, leaving his own electoral college total at 206.

That total – with Romney at 42.1 million and Obama at 41.3 million – did not include votes which had yet to be counted in the most populous state of California, from which the 55 votes were certain to be awarded to Obama.

The final margin of victory remained to be declared, however – with Florida, and its 29 electoral college votes, still a virtual toss-up with only a few thousand votes between the candidates as the count neared completion.

Taking to Twitter just moments after the result was called, Obama thanked his supporters. “This happened because of you,” he wrote. “Thank you.”

He followed the tweet with a photo of him embracing his wife, First Lady Michelle Obama, simply captioned: “Four more years.”

About 20 minutes after the US networks had called Ohio for the incumbent, however, Romney’s team had not yet accepted the result – insisting that the pace of the ongoing count within Ohio could still see Romney claim the state.

Not only did the Presidency remain in the hands of the Democrats, but so will the Senate – while the House of Representatives will remain in the control of the Republican Party, meaning the election campaign will have had little impact on the status quo of power in Washington.

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