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Win excites world

By Independent Team

Obama Mitts victory

Barack Obama claimed a second presidential term on Nov. 7 as a progressive coalition of women, minorities and young people came together to return America’s first black president to the White House in the US election.

The 44th president said he had “never been more hopeful about America” in a victory speech in Chicago.

Although the counts continued late into the night, Obama claimed victory at 10.20am local time, minutes after his challenger, the Republican Governor, Mitt Romney, conceded.

“This is a time of great challenges for America and I pray that the president will be successful in guiding our nation,” Romney told supporters in Boston as he conceded defeat.

As widely predicted, the decider was the battleground state of Ohio which both sides knew held the key to amassing the 270 electoral college votes needed to win. “This happened because of you. Thank you,” Obama tweeted from his personal account. Within minutes, the tweet had become the most popular post in Twitter’s history. A similar Facebook update was “liked” more than a million times in the first hour after it was posted.

All US television networks called the vote for Obama and there were jubilant scenes outside Obama’s election headquarters in Chicago, as a young, ethnically diverse crowd screamed their approval at the news.

The writing had been on the wall for Romney for the best of an hour after several key states, including New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan had been called for the Democrat cause.

No post-war US president has been re-elected with an unemployment rate of more than 7.4 per cent. Today it stands half a percentage point higher but with the improvements to the jobless numbers over the past two years, Obama avoided the fate of following several European leaders who were tipped out office as a result of the 2008 financial crisis.

World votes

Meanwhile, an election-eve online poll by MSN showed that the world, except for China, would have voted Obama if they had been allowed to participated.

Most of the world — 81% — would vote for Barack Obama, according to the poll, which surveyed 570,000 people in 36 countries.

South Africa, the only country on the continent in the poll gave Obama 68%. He was most popular in Europe, especially Portugal which gave him 90%.

Uganda was not involved in the poll but, when Obama stepped out for the victory speech at 10:20am local time, there were excited chants and ululation broke out among crowds that had been glued to televisions all night in homes, in offices, and in shop windows.

Another poll, released by market-research agency YouGov, also found that Obama had an overwhelming advantage if Europeans were able to vote in the U.S. election.

Joe Twyman, YouGov’s director of political and social research, said that while Americans may not care about how the rest of the world would vote, popularity abroad plays into every presidency.

“Obviously, both candidates’ top priority is to win over the American public, but every modern President must also show that they can be an effective operator in the international arena,” he said.

According to Time Magazine But perhaps the most surprising result is that Mitt Romney might have an unlikely international ally: the People’s Republic of China. Fifty-two percent of the online readers polled by MSN there preferred the Republican presidential candidate, even after he accused China of being a nation of cheats and of stealing intellectual property.

He Wang, an MSN commentator based in China, said she thought China backed Romney because the Chinese are more able to relate to the businessman and called Obama “too idealistic.”

However, even in the Middle East, where American foreign policy is often criticised, Obama garnered 79% support in the poll.

And given Romney’s controversial trip to Europe, which Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson dubbed gaffepalooza, it is not shocking that Europeans overwhelmingly threw their support behind the incumbent.

Economy an issue

Voters who feel the economic outlook brightening after years of misery and believe Barack Obama better understands people like themselves propelled the president to a second term, exit polls showed. Mitt Romney suffered from being labeled a champion of the wealthy over the common man.

Americans interviewed as they left their polling places on Nov.6 were in wide agreement that the economy is still in sorry shape. But they were less likely to blame Obama than to point the finger at his predecessor, George W. Bush.

Their biggest worries: chronic unemployment, hovering just under 8 percent, and rising prices.

Still, 4 in 10 said the battered economy is starting to do better. And Obama won 88% of their votes, according to the poll conducted for The Associated Press and television networks.

“Obama had a lot to deal with when he came to office,” said Lansing, Mich., voter William Mullins. “You can’t change everything overnight.”

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