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Obama tops Romney to win second term

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President Barack Obama has been re-elected to a second term, defeating Republican Mitt Romney in a hard-fought race in which the economy was the dominant issue. YNN's Errol Louis reports.

UNITED STATES -- Barack Obama has defeated challenger Mitt Romney to win a second term as president of the United States.

The president declared victory in a speech in Chicago at 1:30 a.m. Wednesday, a little more than two hours after the major networks projected him the winner following victories in several key battleground states.

Speaking to supporters, Obama pledged to redouble his efforts to reach across party lines in his second term.

The president thanked his opponent for a well run race, saying of Romney: "We may have had our differences, but only because we love our country so deeply."

Obama also thanked all those who participated in the election, saying, "Whether you held an Obama sign or a Romney sign, you made your voice heard and you made a difference."

"Whether I earned your vote or not, I have listened to you, I have learned from you, and you've made me a better president," he said. "With your stories and your struggles, I return to the White House more determined and more inspired than ever about the work there is to do and about the future that lies ahead."

Romney conceded the election shortly before 1 a.m. Addressing a crowd in Boston, he congratulated Obama and his family and thanked those who worked on his campaign.

"We have given our all to this campaign," Romney told supporters. "I so wish that I had been able to fulfill your hopes, but the people have chosen a different leader. Ann and I join with you to earnestly pray for him and for the future of America."

In his speech, Romney said the time for partisan politics in America is over.

"The nation, as you know, is at a critical point. 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, and we citizens also have to rise to the occasion," Romney said.

Obama's focus on the battleground states helped him earn 303 electoral votes to Romney's 206.

Florida with its 29 electoral votes remains too close to call.

Obama was also leading in the popular vote with 56,043,966 votes, compared to 54,639,718 for Romney.

According to AP numbers as of 4:45 a.m. Wednesday morning, with more than 97 percent of New York State precincts reporting, Obama had 3,843,194 votes (approximately 62.7 percent of the vote), compared to Romney's 2,202,225 votes (approximately 36 percent).

With New Yorkers still reeling in the aftermath of Sandy, many New York City polling places were overrun with long lines Tuesday even before the morning rush.

Earlier in the week Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order allowing any New Yorker registered to vote to cast their ballots for president and local offices at any polling site in the state, leading to an unexpected influx of voters at some polling places.

The Board of Elections also set up "super sites" in hard-hit areas of Brooklyn and Queens, with as many as nine polling places combined into one.

Cuomo said people displaced by the storm should not lose the ability to vote.

Meanwhile, in New York's statewide races, incumbent Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand won election to a full six-year term in the U.S. Senate, defeating challenger Wendy Long.

Two seats in Congress were also in play in the first congressional election, based on newly drawn redistricting lines. Following the 2010 Census, the state lost two seats in the House of Representatives.

Rep. Michael Grimm was re-elected to his seat in Congress, representing Staten Island and parts of Brooklyn. He defeated challenger Mark Murphy.

In Queens, Democrat Grace Meng defeated Republican Dan Halloran for the seat vacated by Gary Ackerman.

President Obama's victory speech delivered in Chicago in the early morning hours of Wednesday, Nov. 7.


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Mitt Romney's concession speech delivered to supporters in Boston.


Rochester: Obama tops Romney to win second term
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