Obama Wins Second Term as McCormick Place Rocks the Vote

President Barack Obama has been re-elected to a second term with a decisive electoral college win and a closer popular vote win. With Florida still undecided, Obama garnered 303 electoral votes to Romney’s 206.

Screams erupted from the crowd at McCormick Place as several news organizations pegged Obama victorious in Ohio, a key swing state, which gave him the 270 electoral votes needed to secure the presidency.

According to network projections, the only swing state Romney won was North Carolina, despite making Election Day stops in Ohio and Pennsylvania. Obama, however, also secured wins in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Iowa and New Hampshire.  Perhaps most tellingly, the Romney/Ryan ticket failed to secure any of their home-connection states, with Romney’s Massachussets, Michigan and New Hampshire and Ryan’s Wisconsin going for Obama.  On the flip side, Obama won both Illinois and Hawaii and Biden’s Delaware.

Shortly after the projected Ohio win came the projected presidential win for Obama, as his campaign tweeted “Four more years” along with a photo of him hugging first lady Michelle Obama, which became the most popular tweet of all time in a matter of roughly 40 minutes.

The audience at McCormick Place exploded into screams of joy with the projected nod to Obama.

“I’m so proud of that guy for winning again,” said Scott Mosley, whose company provides sign language interpreters for the Obama campaign. “He stands for everything I believe in, and I’m so proud.”

Many who served as campaign volunteers during election season were invited to attend Obama’s campaign event as a way to repay them for their services.

Annie Cappetta, who worked as a phone bank coordinator, said she has been working for the past several weeks to encourage voters to support Obama. She said she worked to the point of exhaustion as part of the campaign’s final push to appeal to voters.

Other volunteers, such as Matthew Johnson, feel a sense of relief following Obama’s re-election.

“I think that [Obama] is taking the country on a really reasonable path and is working for everybody, not just those who already have a lot of wealth and power,” Johnson said. “Had the election gone the other way, I feel Mitt Romney would have allowed more unfair practices on Wall Street and extended the Bush tax cuts. The wealthy already have so much of the power in this country and aren’t paying their share, but thankfully [Romney] didn’t win.”

While the crowd was brimming with excitement, audience members remained conscious of the fact that there is still much work to be done.

“It’s going to be an excellent four years,” said Lynn Kamenitsa, an Obama supporter. “[Obama] is going to have a chance to finish what he started. We still have a tough road ahead toward economic recovery, but he’s the best man for the job.”

Obama won an additional 4 years with overwhelming margins of support within various demographic groups, including women, younger voters, African Americans and Latinos.

Columbia Chronicle reporter Kaley Fowler contributed.