Barack Obama

Poll pundits called it the closest presidential race in US history but in the end President Barack Obama easily defeated Mitt Romney to win himself a second term at the White House after a bitter, historically and hugely expensive race. What is surprising is the fact that Obama won the polls on the issue that was supposed to vote him out of power - the slowing US economy. But then in the US, voters have historically voted for incumbent candidates who preside over even modest economic growth during an election year.

The law graduate with mixed racial background played his cards right where it mattered the most. Obama campaigned heavily on the auto bailout in Ohio, where 1 in 8 jobs is tied to the industry. The results show that US voters ignored the failures of Obama and have given him more time finish what he had embarked to do.

What Obama did brilliantly was he made the Americans believe that better days were ahead for the economy and the coalition of young, female and minority voters that propelled Obama to victory four years ago also turned out again, in huge numbers.

Obama scored impressive victories across the country, so much so that the big build-up over Ohio, Virginia and Florida fizzled out into a no-contest. Obama reached the 270 electoral votes needed for election even without those three states, rolling up wins in Democratic strongholds and carrying Nevada, Iowa and Colorado.

What made this win more special was that the victory was accomplished in the face of such a high unemployment rate and the historical winds that Obama faced as no US president won a second term with unemployment rate of over 7.2 per cent since Franklin Roosevelt in 1936.

In his victory speech, a triumphant Obama said that best was yet to come and thanked every American and vowed to work to tackle issues that the country faces.