On November 6, people all over America headed to the polls to vote in the presidential election. The result was Barack Obama winning a second term, defeating the Republican nominee and former Massachusetts Governor and Mitt Romney with 329 to 206 electoral votes.
In the United States, Presidents are decided not by the popular vote, but by a selected group of individuals who make up the Electoral College. Each state is allocated a specific number of electoral votes, which is determined by the total number of Congressional districts plus the number of Senators each state has. For example, Missouri has eight congressional districts and two senators, giving the state a total of ten electoral votes. Whichever candidate has the majority of the popular vote in a state is awarded the total electoral votes of that state to their final count. A candidate needs 270 votes in order to seal the position as President.
As results were reported, Romney either tied or slightly led President Obama throughout the majority of the night. But when polls closed on the West Coast, President Obama catapulted ahead of the competition, winning California, Washington, New Mexico, Colorado and Nevada. The election was decided when voters in the swing state of Ohio projected that Obama was the winner, awarding him all 18 of its electoral votes and pushing him above the 270 mark.
President Obama announced his win first over Twitter, thanking his followers for all they had done throughout the election year.
“This happened because of you. Thank you,” the tweet read.
In other races, the high-profiled rivalry between the incumbent, Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill, and her opponent, Republican Todd Akin who represents U.S. Congressional district four in the U.S. House of Representatives, resulted in a win for the Democrats. The race was closely contested, as the winner would essentially decide the majority of the Senate. McCaskill’s win makers her one of 20 women in the Senate, noteworthy in an election that brought women’s health issues such as abortion and access to birth control to the forefront.
Also in Missouri, incumbents Jay Nixon the Democratic Governor; Peter Kinder, the Republican Lieutenant Governor; Clint Zweiffel, the Democratic Treasurer; and Chris Koster, the Democratic Attorney General were re-elected into office. Former state representative Jason Kander, a Democrat from Kansas City, was elected to serve his first term as Secretary of State.