Election predictions went from close tie to colossal tidal wave Tuesday night after President Barack Obama swept seven out of eight swing states to cement his re-election and four more years with 332 Electoral College votes.
The Democratic White House takeaway included battleground states Ohio, Wisconsin, Virginia, Florida, Nevada, Colorado and Iowa, all of which gave the race to the Obama campaign in what, otherwise would have been, a hotly contested race.
Gov. Mitt Romney managed to secure remaining North Carolina, finishing with 206 total electoral votes, well behind the president by more than 100 votes.
After picking up additional seats in the Senate and stacking its majority by 53 to 45, Congressional Democrats and the Obama administration are calling the victory a political mandate from the American people for their policies and agendas.
Republicans maintained their majority in the House of Representatives with 233 seats compared to the Democrat’s 194.
That balanced congressional power between the parties for at least the next two years prior to the next congressional elections.
“I ran for office because I am concerned about America. This election is over, but our principles endure. I believe that the principles upon which this nation was founded are the only sure guide to a resurgent economy and to renewed greatness,” Romney said in his concession speech early Wednesday morning.
“I so wish that I had been able to fulfill your hopes to lead the country in a different direction, but the nation chose another leader. And so Ann and I join with you to earnestly pray for him and for this great nation,” Romney also said in his speech Wednesday.
In his victory speech early Wednesday morning, Obama thanked his supporters and constituents for standing by him through a self-admittedly tough four years.
The president congratulated the Romney campaign on a hard-fought election and alluded to the two of them discussing solutions to major issues of partisanship facing the nation.
Obama went on to address the nation as a whole on the basis of which he was first elected in 2008 — hope.
“I have always believed that hope is that stubborn thing inside us that insists, despite all the evidence to the contrary, that something better awaits us so long as we have the courage to keep reaching, to keep working, to keep fighting,” Obama said to a crowd of supporters in his home city of Chicago where he waited out the election results with his family.
“I believe we can seize this future together because we are not as divided as our politics suggest. We’re not as cynical as the pundits believe. We are greater than the sum of our individual ambitions, and we remain more than a collection of red states and blue states. We are and forever will be the United States of America,” Obama said.
The president’s call for bipartisanship could not come at a more crucial time as the nation imminently faces what has been called a “fiscal cliff” at the end of 2012, referring to the expiration of major tax cuts and spending programs all at once.
Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner and the president have expressed polar opposite views of how to deal with the cliff, with the Republican controlled House calling for tax cut extensions and the Obama administration proposing tax hikes for the wealthiest percentage of Americans to make up federal revenue.
The fiscal cliff is undoubtedly the biggest issue facing America’s immediate future with having the potential to plunge the already weak economy back into recession.
As the tidal wave of victory recedes, both Republicans and Democrats will have to turn bipartisan words into actions to keep the country from drowning in debt at the start of 2013 — and four more years of Obama as president.