The most recent popular vote count showed President Obama at 60,078,199 (50.3%) vs. Governor Romney at 57,397,360 (48.1%). Electoral votes show Obama with 303 vs. Romney at 206.1 Obama scored key wins in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin and collected 48 electoral college votes from those states alone, leading him to victory last night.
U.S. presidential elections are decided by the Electoral College and consists of 538 electors: 435 Representatives, 100 Senators, and 3 electors from the District of Columbia. 270 votes are needed to secure the election. In every state but Nebraska and Maine, the candidate who wins the majority of popular votes are given all the state’s electoral votes.
Since this was a very close election, there appears to be no “political mandate” upon which Obama can govern and direct. According to one writer,
Now, President Obama will only succeed in a second term if he governs as the president he promised to be in 2008. This year’s candidate Obama — with a campaign that sought to tear down Mitt Romney more than build upon the vision of his first four years — needs to fall away with the last counted votes of 2012.2
Only time will tell if Obama will successfully “reach across the aisle” to congressional republicans and discontinue the use of executive orders to “get things done.”