Barack Obama was reelected as President Tuesday night in a victory that saw him win nearly every key battleground state—including Virginia—and eke out 50 percent of the popular vote.
According to the latest tallies from the State Board of Elections, which had 2,551 of 2,588 precincts reporting this morning, Obama won Virginia 51 to 48 percent over Republican rival Mitt Romney, earning 1,836,945 votes to Romney’s 1,738,268.
Charlottesville gave Obama an expectedly strong 76 percent of its votes. Albemarle County also went to the President, giving him 55 percent of the vote and Romney 44—not as strong a showing as in 2008, when Obama won the county by 18 points.
Virginia’s election results took a long time to trickle in, and for a span of a few hours, it looked as though conservative third-party candidates—including Constitution Party presidential candidate and former Virginia 5th District representative Virgil Goode—could win enough votes to tip the scales in Obama’s favor. But in the end, Goode took only 0.4 percent of the vote in the state and Libertarian Gary Johnson took 0.8 percent.
In a victory speech delivered around 2am Eastern time, well after Romney had conceded the election, Obama said the country can and will rise above the partisanship that has divided it over the course of the long campaign.
“I believe we can seize this future together because we are not as divided as our politics suggests,” he said. “We’re not as cynical as the pundits believe. We are greater than the sum of our individual ambitions, and we remain more than a collection of red states and blue states. We are and forever will be the United States of America.”
Democrats were also able to claim victory in a crucial Senate race in Virginia. Tim Kaine’s defeat of George Allen was one of several key victories that allowed Democrats to hold onto control of the Senate.
Democratic challenger General John Douglass lost his bid to take Virginia’s 5th Congressional District from Republican Robert Hurt, taking 43 percent of the vote to Hurt’s 55 percent. In a concession statement e-mailed around 9pm, Douglass congratulated Hurt on a hard-fought race “that has apparently earned him a second chance to choose good over greed.”
Virginia passed a controversial referendum to change its state Constitution to further restrict the government’s use of eminent domain 75 percent to 25, and also passed by a wide margin a second ballot measure allowing the state legislature to shift its spring veto period.
Stay with us today for updates from local party members and the campaigns.