According to projections by the major networks and the Associated Press, President Barack Obama has won reelection and will stay in the White House for four more years. U.S. stock futures tumbled nearly 100 points on the news.
The 2012 election will do little to change the status quo of the past two years. Republicans retained control of the House of Representatives, while Democrats held their slight majority in the Senate, adding several far left-wing members such as Tammy Baldwin (Wis.), Chris Murphy (Conn.) and Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), while more moderate Democrat members like Sens. Joseph Lieberman (Conn.) and Ben Nelson (Neb.) will step down in January.
Obama became the first incumbent president since 1940 to win reelection with fewer Electoral College votes than he received in his first election, losing at least the states of North Carolina and Indiana, both of which he won in 2008. Florida and Virginia remain too close to call.
The president is likely to claim a mandate in his victory speech tonight, but his plans to raise taxes and reward the special interest groups that carried him to a second term will be complicated by continued gridlock in Washington.
Earlier tonight, Speaker of the House John Boehner seemed to draw a line in the sand, telling supporters, "The American people want solutions — and tonight, they've responded by renewing our House Republican majority…With this vote, the American people have also made clear that there is no mandate for raising tax rates."