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US President Barack Obama and family arrive on stage after winning the 2012 US presidential election November 7, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. Obama swept to re-election, forging history again by defying the dragging economic recovery and high unemployment which haunted his first term to beat Republican Mitt Romney.
It seemed like this day would never come, but the 2012 election cycle has finally reached its end. The debates, the attack ads, the swing state drama, the super-PACs and the four-hour polling lines, all leading up to the moment when we cast our ballots on November 6th .
This presidential campaign has proven to be the closest race in memory – and the longest and most expensive ever, with incumbent Barack Obama and challenger Mitt Romney together spending over $2 billion to win your vote. Last night’s election-watch was a state-by-state nailbiter, as first blue, then red, then blue dominated the nation’s map. But when the dust settled, Obama emerged victorious and will remain Commander in Chief for four more years. Not only that - the Democrats have once again taken the majority in the Senate, which ensures that the social and economic policies Obama put in place are safe - for now.
What will be the legacy of the next Obama administration? How will Obama address challenges like climate change, the war in Afghanistan, the European debt crisis? Will we be driving over the fiscal cliff, or will that crisis be averted? And what’s next for the GOP?
Jonathan Wilcox, Republican Strategist; former speech writer for Governor Pete Wilson
Matt Rodriguez, Democratic strategist; former senior Obama advisor in 2008, who now runs the Los Angeles office for the Dewey Square Group
Lynn Vavreck, Professor of Political Science, UCLA; co-author of the newly released e-book The Gamble: Choice & Chance in the 2012 Election
Rick Hasen, Chancellor's Professor of Law and Political Science at University of California Irvine School of Law and author of The Voting Wars: From Florida 2000 to the Next Election Meltdown (Yale University Press, August 2012). Check out Rick Hasen's Election Law Blog.
Kitty Felde, KPCC’s Washington D.C. correspondent