American voters have voted to keep President Barack Obama in the White House for four more years, as Obama collected at least 303 Electoral votes, more than the 270 needed to win.

After calling Obama to congratulate him, Republican challenger Mitt Romney declared, “This is a great time of challenges for America, and I pray the president will be successful in guiding our nation.”

He added, “I believe in America. I believe in the people of America. … Like so many of you, Paul and I have left everything on the field. We have given our all to this campaign. I so wish that I had been able to fulfill your hopes to lead the country in a different direction, but the nation chose another leader and so Ann and I join with you to earnestly pray for him and for this great nation.”

Obama gave his victory speech in Chicago just after 1:30 a.m. Eastern, saying, “I want to thank every American who participated in this election. Whether you voted for the very first time, or waited in line for a very long time — by the way we have to fix that — whether you pounded the pavement or picked up the phone, whether you held an Obama sign or a Romney sign, you made your voices heard.”

“You reaffirmed the spirit that we are an American family and we rise or fall as one nation and as one people,” he added. “For the United States of America, the best is yet to come.”

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