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Barack Obama Re-Elected President

President Obama defeated Republican Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election.

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden were re-elected Tuesday night, defeating Republican challenger Mitt Romney and his vice-presidential running mate Rep. Paul Ryan.

NBC News called the presidential election for Obama around 8:15 PST. The president sent a message on Twitter at 8:14 saying simply, "This happened because of you. Thank you."

The Obama campaign won the most expensive presidential race ever, with both parties raising about $2.6 billion. The race was filled with negative campaigning on both sides, from President Obama attacking Romney’s business experience with Bain Capital to Romney lambasting Obama’s handling of the economy.

The race tightened during the final months of the campaign, with gaffes and surges from both candidates. After a weak performance after the Republican Convention, Romney surged following Obama’s listless performance after the first presidential debate. Nevertheless, the president cemented a lead in battleground states heading into Tuesday’s election.

Obama took a dominant lead in early returns in Washington state with 55.18 percent of votes to Romney's 42.81 percent, awarding Obama the state's 12 electoral votes.

Obama’s performance in the state wasn't surprising, considering Washington has voted for the Democratic candidate in past presidential elections, dating back to 1988.

J.R. Rothschild of Kenmore, a Kenmore neighborhood team leader for Obama said "Tonight's numbers are really exciting...It proved that the grassroots efforts work. We worked really hard."

Mario Brown of Edmonds served as an Obama delegate at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C. representing the 32nd Legislative District this year.

"It makes me proud of the people not just what I did, it's what they did," Brown said. "A lot of money was spent. At the end of the day it wasn't money that made the difference. After Obama gives his victory speech, every American should give theirs because its the people who won."

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