By RFE RL
(RFE/RL) — U.S. broadcast networks project that President Barack Obama has won reelection for a second four-year term, defeating Republican Party rival Mitt Romney.
With votes still being counted, Obama was thought to have scored key victories in several closely competitive “swing states” that could help tip the balance in America’s presidential election.
Citing partial official results and exit polls, U.S. broadcast networks project Obama so far winning at least 285 electoral votes — more than the 270 vote Electoral College majority to secure the presidency.
Obama’s projected wins have come from “swing” states like Iowa, Michigan, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. He also has projected wins in the West Coast states of California, Oregon, and Washington, as well as his boyhood home state of Hawaii.
The projections so far show Romney winning 203 electoral votes, including the swing state of North Carolina, as well as from Texas, Arizona, Louisiana, and Georgia.
The Electoral College, not the nationwide popular vote, decides the presidency. Each state has a share of electoral votes, based on its population.
The vote count so far is extremely close in the key battleground state of Florida, with Obama holding a slight lead.
Swing states are those that are considered key to tipping the balance in favor of one candidate or the other in the Electoral College.
In other developments, complaints about voting procedures have surfaced in states including Pennsylvania and Florida. Reports said voters were forced to wait in long lines to cast their ballots in some states.
Nationwide polls just ahead of Election Day showed Obama and Romney virtually tied.
Romney spoke to reporters on November 6 aboard his campaign plane and said he is confident of victory.
“We fought to the very end and I think that’s why we’ll be successful. I just finished writing a victory speech. It’s about 1,118 words,” Romney said. “And I’m sure it’ll change before I’m finished because I haven’t passed it around to my family, and friends, and advisers to get their reaction. But I’ve only written one speech at this point.”