LAS VEGAS -- President Barack Obama captured a second term Tuesday with a projected win of more than the 270 electoral votes needed to secure victory.
In an explosion of movement and sound, people in the packed convention center that serves as Obama's party site cheered and stood waving small American flags.
Obama thanks supporters on Twitter; `We're all in this together. That's how we campaigned."
Obama's message that this country is on the right track toward economic recovery resonated with Nevadans who delivered this battleground state to the Democratic incumbent. CBS News called Nevada for Obama early in the evening.
At stake in Nevada were its six electoral votes. By 9:37 p.m. CBS projected Obama had won 303 electoral votes to 203 for Romney.
When Obama was first elected in November 2008, he won Nevada by 55.1 percent to 42.7 percent over Republican John McCain.
Going back to 1912, when Democrat Woodrow Wilson won his first term in the White House, Nevada has gone with the winning presidential candidate more than any other state. The only time Nevada voters went with the eventual loser since then was in 1976, when the state opted for Republican President Gerald Ford instead of Democrat Jimmy Carter, the eventual victor.
The 2012 campaign in Nevada was marked by heavy television advertising, most of it negative. An analysis by Kantar Media for the Washington Post found that $55 million was spent on TV ads related to the presidential race in Nevada through Tuesday, including $29 million helping Romney and $26 million on Obama's behalf. The total amount spent in the state ranked Nevada seventh nationally for the presidential race.
The biggest individual TV ad spenders in Nevada were the Obama campaign's $21.6 million, followed by American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS ($9 million, pro-Romney), the Romney campaign ($8.6 million), Restore Our Future ($2.7 million, pro-Romney), Americans for Prosperity ($2.4 million, pro-Romney), and Priorities USA Action ($2.4 million, pro-Obama).
The presence of so much super political action committee money owed itself to the 2010 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the Citizens United case. The ruling allows individuals and corporations, under constitutionally protected free speech, to give unlimited amounts of money to issue-advocacy groups as long as those organizations don't coordinate their spending with specific campaigns.
One Las Vegas couple taking noteworthy advantage of Citizens United was billionaire Venetian owner Sheldon Adelson and wife Dr. Miriam Adelson, who each gave $10 million to the pro-Romney Restore Our Future super political action committee. The Adelsons and Texan Bob Perry, who also gave $10 million as owner of Perry Homes, represented the three largest contributors to Restore Our Future.
Romney also raised nearly $3.3 million in direct campaign donations in Nevada through Oct. 25 versus only $1.3 million for Obama, according to the Opensecrets.org website maintained by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics in Washington, D.C. In the Las Vegas metro area, Romney raised $2.2 million compared to only $872,852 for Obama.
In keeping with Nevada's battleground status, Obama and Romney were frequent visitors to the state throughout 2012. But Obama visited southern Nevada four times after the Democratic National Convention in early September -- including a three-day visit to Lake Las Vegas to prepare for the first presidential debate. That visit also included a rally at Desert Pines High School in Las Vegas and a tour of Hoover Dam.
Romney visited the valley only twice after the Republican National Convention in late August.
Obama's last visit to southern Nevada was Thursday for a campaign event at the Cheyenne Sports Complex at 3500 E. Cheyenne Ave., North Las Vegas. Romney last visited the valley on Oct. 23 for a rally at the Henderson Pavilion at 200 S. Green Valley Parkway.
Last week's 8 News NOW/Las Vegas Review-Journal statewide poll of likely and actual voters had Obama leading Romney 50 percent to 46 percent with a margin of error of plus or minus 2.9 percent. The poll by SurveyUSA of Clifton, N.J., found little difference in their favorability ratings. But there were major differences in their support based on demographics.
Obama was favored by women, 18- to 49-year-olds, blacks, Hispanics, Asian-Americans, moderates, liberals, and households without active military members or veterans. He also drew the heaviest support among those who earn less than $40,000 a year and Clark County residents.
Romney drew favorable support among men, those 50 and older, whites, independents, conservatives, and households with active military members or veterans.He also was the preferred candidate among middle-income earners, those who earn at least $80,000 annually and Nevadans who live outside Clark County.