Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Live blog: Obama vs. Romney — The view from Southern California on election day

US-VOTE-2012-DEBATE

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

US President Barack Obama (L) and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney finish their debate at the University of Denver in Denver, Colorado, October 3, 2012.

8:55 p.m. (AP) — President Barack Obama has been re-elected to a second term, defeating Republican Mitt Romney in a hard-fought race in which the economy was the dominant issue.

Voters decided to give Obama another four years of stewardship over an economy that is slowly recovering from the recession.

Obama captured battleground states including Ohio, Iowa and Colorado on his way to the 270 electoral votes he needed.

Romney unsuccessfully campaigned on the theme that his business background gave him the experience needed to guide the nation out of tough economic times.

Obama will again be dealing with a divided Congress. Democrats maintained control of the Senate and Republicans likely will again control the House. Among the most pressing matters is the so-called fiscal cliff of tax hikes and spending cuts scheduled to hit in January. Economists have warned that if they aren't averted, the nation could face another recession.

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Twitter asks 'What if Mitt Romney wins'?

GOP Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney Campaigns Day After Final Debate

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks during a campaign rally at the Red Rocks Amphitheatre on October 23, 2012 in Morrison, Colorado. A day after the final Presidential debate, Mitt Romney is campaigning in Nevada and Colorado.

With the Associated Press and the TV networks starting to project states for Mitt Romney and Barack Obama, voters on Twitter are starting to realize that this presidential race is closer than they may have expected.

Here are some samples of people speculating what they will do, or what things will look like if Gov. Romney wins the race:

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Obama, Romney clash on economy in first debate

Obama And Romney Square Off In First Presidential Debate In Denver

Pool/Getty Images

U.S. President Barack Obama (L) shakes hands with Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney during the Presidential Debate at the University of Denver on October 3, 2012 in Denver, Colorado.

In a showdown at close quarters, President Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney sparred aggressively in their first campaign debate Wednesday night over taxes, deficits and strong steps needed to create jobs in a sputtering national economy. "The status quo is not going to cut it," declared the challenger.

Obama in turn accused his rival of seeking to "double down" on economic policies that actually led to the devastating national downturn four years ago — and of evasiveness on details for Romney proposals on tax changes, health care, Wall Street regulation and more.

Both men made frequent references to the weak economy and high national unemployment, by far the dominant issue in the race for the White House. Public opinion polls show Obama with a slight advantage in key battleground states and nationally, and Romney was particularly aggressive, like a man looking to shake up the campaign with a little less than five weeks to run.

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Live Blog: Barack Obama and Mitt Romney's first presidential debate

In Profile: 100 Years In US Presidential Races

Marc Serota/Getty Images

This composite image shows Barack Obama (L) and Mitt Romney. The Nov. 6, 2012 elections will decide who between Obama and Romney who will win to become the next president of the United States.

Please enjoy our live blogging of the debate

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