Florida Democrats declare Barack Obama has won state
Florida's Democratic Party has finally declared victory for US President Barack Obama in the closely divided battleground state, as he clung to a narrow but apparently insurmountable lead in the glacially slow count of votes from Tuesday's election.
If Obama wins Florida officially, it will add to his Electoral College margin and he will have won all key US swing states except North Carolina, which he carried in 2008.
"On behalf of Florida Democrats, I wish President Barack Obama congratulations on his re-election and on his winning Florida's 29 electoral votes," Florida Democratic Party chairman Rod Smith said on Thursday.
In a tacit concession, Republican Party of Florida spokesman Brian Burgess said he and other Mitt Romney supporters were "obviously not happy with the result".
"But given the wave that we saw all over the country, we're glad that we gave them enough of a fight in Florida to prolong the battle here as long as we did," Burgess said.
As of Thursday evening, Obama had 49.92 per cent of the statewide vote, versus 49.22 per cent for Romney, the Florida Division of Elections said.
Just 58,055 votes separated the two candidates, but that was far more than in the 2000 election, when Republican George W. Bush won Florida by 537 votes and captured the White House after a re-count dispute.
Obama looked set to get a bump from Florida that would lift his electoral vote count to 332 over 206 for Romney.