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  • Jul 26, 2014
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US Presidential Election 2012

The United States' 57th quadrennial presidential election took place in November 2012. Incumbent President and Democrat Barack Obama won election and is running for a second term. His major challenger was former Massachusetts Governor, Republican Mitt Romney. From January to June, Americans voted in nationwide state level primaries and caucuses, which serveed the purpose of selecting party representatives of states to be sent for the party convention. The key issues in this race for the White House were social issues including the state of the economy, abortion and contraception, gay marriage, and immigration.

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America decides

Silence descends on Mitt Romney camp as results come in

Optimism of last-minute push for votes gives way to dismay and regret as results come in

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 08 November, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 08 November, 2012, 4:15am

The day had started optimistically, as Mitt Romney cast his ballot early, then made one last trip to scour for votes. But it ended with stony silence in the ballroom where his supporters watched state after state that they hoped would break the Republican nominee's way tilt towards President Barack Obama.

Nearly two hours after the US television networks called the race for Obama, Romney appeared onstage at a waterfront convention centre in Boston to congratulate his opponent and thank his supporters.

"I have just called President Obama to congratulate him on his victory," Romney said, and went on to thank his running mate Paul Ryan, his wife, Ann, and his sons for their work on the campaign.

"I believe in America. I believe in the people of America," he said as the crowd cheered. "I ran for office because I'm concerned about America. This election is over but our principles endure."

Romney said he wished that he would have been elected, but that "the nation chose another leader, so Ann and I join with you to earnestly pray for him".

Before Romney came out, several hundred people stood silently and sullenly, watching the returns come in. Some struggled to understand voters' continued support for Obama.

"We're aghast. Why? Why would someone vote for him?" said Sandy Nabhan, 54.

Earlier, the Republican candidate and his campaign had seemed optimistic as he sprinted to Ohio and Pennsylvania in a last-minute push for support. As Romney strode off his plane on Tuesday afternoon in Moon Township, Pennsylvania, hundreds of people spontaneously lined an outdoor parking garage overlooking the tarmac and cheered. That, Romney said, was the moment he became confident he would win.

"Intellectually, I've felt we're going to win this, and have felt that for some time, but emotionally, just getting off the plane and seeing people there cheering as they were connected emotionally with me - I not only think we're going to win intellectually, I feel it as well," Romney said that night.

Romney had also met up with Ryan on the tarmac in Cleveland. "What up?" Ryan asked Romney after striding onto his plane, and then regaled him with tales of recent rallies.

Ohio's importance was highlighted by an unusual confluence: Air Force Two - Vice-President Joe Biden's plane - was parked near the two Republican candidates' planes.

Romney later boarded his campaign plane for home, not knowing whether, in the end, he was closing out a six-year-campaign or preparing to be the US president.

Exuding confidence, Romney said he had only written one speech for the evening: a victory speech.

"It's about 1,118 words," he said.

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