U.S. President Barack Obama has been declared the winner of the closely-divided battleground state of Florida, four days after winning re-election.
The southern state had been the only state still tallying its votes after Tuesday’s election, which pitted the incumbent Democrat against Republican candidate Mitt Romney.
Florida’s Department of State says President Obama received 50 percent of the vote compared to Romney’s 49.1 percent, a difference of nearly 74,000 votes and enough of a lead to surpass the half-percent margin that would have triggered a recount.
Even without the so-called Sunshine State, President Obama had already gained more than the 270 Electoral College votes needed to win the White House.
In the United States, each state is assigned a number of electoral votes based on population, with the exact number corresponding to the number of senators and House members who represent the given state in Congress. With two exceptions (Maine and Nebraska), the candidate who wins the popular vote in a given state receives all of that state’s electoral votes.
The addition of Florida’s 29 electoral votes brings Mr. Obama’s final count to 332, compared to Romney’s 206.
The win in Florida means President Obama won nine of ten states viewed as critical swing states this year, losing only North Carolina. The swing states, also known as battleground states, were the states expected to decide the presidential race.
In addition to Florida, Mr. Obama won Colorado, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin.