WASHINGTON (AP) - With a second term ahead of him, President Barack Obama faces the urgent task of working with Congress to address an impending financial crisis that economists say could send the country back into recession.
Automatic tax increases and across-the-board spending cuts known as the "fiscal cliff" are set to take effect January 1, unless there's a budget deal to avoid it.
Voters gave Obama four more years in office, but also elected a divided Congress, with Democrats still in control of the Senate and Republicans in charge in the House.
While Obama told supporters in his election night acceptance speech, "You made your voice heard," House Speaker John Boehner says voters issued a dual mandate "for both parties to find common ground" and take steps to help the economy grow and create jobs.
But Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell is sounding less conciliatory. He says voters have not endorsed what he calls the "failures" and "excesses of the president's first term."
Newly elected Democrats are signaling they want to see a compromise. Sen.-elect Tim Kaine of Virginia says voters sent a message they want "cooperative government."
UPDATE: President Barack Obama has been reelected to another four years in the White House. Obama told supports early this morning that their citizenship doesn't end with their vote and that the "best is yet to come."
Obama also says he wants to meet with Republican rival Mitt Romney to talk about how they can work together. Obama says he's willing to work with leaders of both parties to tackle upcoming challenges.
UPDATE: In his 20-minute speech to supporters after winning re-election, President Barack Obama touched on familiar themes he has emphasized throughout his presidency. He urged people to come together and said he would work with leaders in both parties to improve education, spur innovation, reduce debt and lessen global warming.
"We want to pass on a country that's safe and respected and admired around the world. A nation that is defended by the strongest military on earth and the best troops this world has ever known," he said.
He made references to victims of Superstorm Sandy and the Navy SEALS who killed Osama Bin Laden.
"This country has more wealth than any nation, but that's not what makes us rich," he said. "We have the most powerful military in history but that's not what makes us strong. Our universities, our culture are the envy of the world but that's not what keep the world coming to our shore."
It's "the belief that our destiny is shared, that this country only works when we accept certain obligations to one another."
CHICAGO (AP) - President Barack Obama says the American people have "picked ourselves up" and fought back during tough economic times, declaring after winning re-election that the "best is yet to come."
Obama says he wants to meet with Republican rival Mitt Romney to discuss how they can work together. He says they may have "battled fiercely, but it's only because we love this country deeply."
The president rolled to a second term over Romney, winning more than 300 electoral votes.
Obama was welcomed by thunderous applause as he arrived on stage in his hometown, joined by first lady Michelle Obama and daughters Sasha and Malia.
Romney said earlier he called Obama to congratulate him on his victory, adding that he prays "the president will be successful in guiding our nation."
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama is telling his supporters that they deserve credit for his re-election victory.
Obama tweeted, "This happened because of you. Thank you." Obama claimed the election with wins in Ohio, Iowa, New Hampshire, Colorado and Virginia.
Florida has yet to be called. Advisors to Mitt Romney say he's expected to acknowledge his loss.
UPDATE: NBC News has projected President Obama the winner of the 2012 Presidential Election.
UPDATE: Obama wins Ohio.
UPDATE: NBC has projected Obama the winner of Iowa.
UPDATE/SEATTLE (AP) - Democrat US Sen. Maria Cantwell clinches re-election, beats GOP newcomer for third term.
UPDATE: Obama wins CA, WA, HI; Romney wins ID.
UPDATE: Romney wins North Carolina.
UPDATE: NBC News projects Obama to win Minnesota, Romney to take Missouri.
UPDATE: Romney wins Arizona.
UPDATE: NBC News is projecting Mitt Romney wins in Montana and Utah, bringing the Electoral Race to a tie at 162.
UPDATE: Obama wins Pennsylvania.
UPDATE: NBC projects that Obama has won New Jersey.
UPDATE/WASHINGTON (AP) - Obama wins NY; Romney wins NE, WY, KS, LA, SD, TX, ND, MI.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Mitt Romney has won in Georgia. It's a state that had appeared to be a potential battleground early in the campaign, but ended up being part of Romney's Southern base.
Romney also added Tennessee's 11 electoral votes to his total, putting him ahead of President Barack Obama so far. Romney has 67 electoral votes so far, to Obama's 64.
Romney had been far ahead of Obama in the polls in Tennessee, with strong support from white evangelical voters. Romney lost his party's primary in Tennessee earlier this year to Rick Santorum.
Tennessee voters also re-elected Republican Sen. Bob Corker.
In Connecticut, Democratic Rep. Chris Murphy has defeated Republican former wrestling executive Linda McMahon in the race for the Senate seat that had been held by retiring independent Joe Lieberman. McMahon spent more than $42 million of her own money on the Senate bid.
UPDATE: Romney wins Georgia & Tennessee.
UPDATE: NBC News projects President Obama will win in his home state of Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland and the District of Columbia. Romney is projected to take Oklahoma, Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee. The updated Electoral Vote has Romney ahead of Obama 82 to 64.
UPDATE: NBC News is projecting Mitt Romney as the winner of the 16 Electoral Votes for the state of Georgia. Romney now leads President Barack Obama 49 to 3 in the Electoral Vote.
UPDATE: NBC News declares Pa. too early to call, Fla. and N.H. too close to call.
UPDATE: NBC News predicts that Romney will win South Carolina and West Virginia.
NBCNEWS.COM - The campaigning is over. After months of intense — and often negative — campaigning between President Barack Obama and his Republican opponent, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, voters headed to polls across the country on Tuesday to render their verdict in America's presidential election.
The election would settle the question of which man would lead the United States for the next four years, but a great deal of uncertainty awaited the winner of the election. Either Obama or Romney will almost immediately have to face the so-called "fiscal cliff," the cocktail of automatic spending cuts (especially to defense) and tax hikes set to take effect at the beginning of the year unless Congress acts.
Those challenges, the prospect of a "grand bargain" to address mounting national debt, and a variety of other issues confronted both the candidates and the tens of millions of voters expected to cast ballots on Tuesday.
But both campaigns fought hard for months for the right to face those challenges. click here to read more