It’s been almost two months, but we now have an official tally for the 2012 presidential election. In the end, President Obama won 65.9 million votes—or 51.1 percent—to Mitt Romney’s 60.9 million votes, or 47.2 percent of the vote. It’s a significant drop-off from President Obama’s 2008 total, but compares favorably to other presidential election efforts. Obama’s total vote share is larger than George W. Bush’s in either 2000 or 2004, Bill Clinton’s in 1996 and 1992, Ronald Reagan’s in 1980, and Jimmy Carter’s in 1976. Overall, Obama is the first president since Dwight Eisenhower to win 51 percent of the vote in two elections, and the first Democrat to do so since Franklin Roosevelt.
It’s worth noting that the total for Mitt Romney is in line with what polling averages showed for most of the year. At no point during the year did Romney move significantly above 47 percent—he almost always hovered between 46 and 48 percent support. Which, in the final tally, is exactly what he received.