President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden were re-elected Tuesday night, defeating Republican challenger Mitt Romney and his vice-presidential running mate Rep. Paul Ryan.
NBC News called the presidential election for Obama around 11:15 EST.The president sent a message on Twitter at 10:14 saying simply, "This happened because of you. Thank you."
Just after the announcement, the streets in Santa Cruz remained calm—nothing like Obama's victory four years ago. But in Bookshop Santa Cruz, employees were plugged into Internet coverage of the election, and the news of Obama's victory was slowly beginning to trickle down Pacific Avenue.
"I feel extremely relieved. I was stressed, I was sweating bullets there for a minute. I don't want to say I would have left the country [if Mitt Romney won] but I definitely thought about it," said Michael Baba, 24, of Santa Cruz.
Baba and his friend Michael Cox, 34, were fueling up at Verve Coffee on their way to celebrate the win at a friend's "gathering."
On Pacific Avenue, a group of friends bought chocolate ice cream cones at the Penny Ice Creamery's kiosk to celebrate Obama's victory.
"We were at Happy Hour at Motiv, with an iPad, and two iPhones, it was a fine example of how we were all using our personal devices," said Allan Lundell, 60, of Boulder Creek, who sported a star spangled hat.
Lundell's wife, Sun, bopped up and down with the news of the victory.
The Obama campaign won the most expensive presidential race ever, with both parties raising about $2.6 billion. The race was filled with negative campaigning on both sides, from President Obama attacking Romney’s business experience with Bain Capital to Romney lambasting Obama’s handling of the economy.
The race tightened during the final months of the campaign, with gaffes and surges from both candidates. After a weak performance after the Republican Convention, Romney surged following Obama’s listless performance after the first presidential debate. Nevertheless, the president cemented a lead in battleground states heading into Tuesday’s election.
Obama handily won California, which also went blue in 2008.