USA: President Barack Obama won a second term in the White House


(Reuters) - President Barack Obama won a second term in the White House on Tuesday, overcoming deep doubts among voters about his handling of the U.S. economy to score a clear victory over Republican challenger Mitt Romney.

Americans chose to stick with a divided government in Washington, by keeping the Democratic incumbent in the White House and leaving the U.S. Congress as it is, with Democrats controlling the Senate and Republicans keeping the House of Representatives.

Obama told thousands of supporters in Chicago who cheered his every word that "we have picked ourselves up, we have fought our way back" and that for America, the best is yet to come.

He vowed to listen to both sides of the political divide in the weeks ahead and said he would return to the White House more determined than ever to confront America's challenges.

"Whether I earned your vote or not, I have listened to you, I have learned from you. And you have made me a better president," Obama said.

The nationwide popular vote remained extremely close with Obama taking about 50 percent to 49 percent for Romney after a campaign in which the candidates and their party allies spent a combined $2 billion.

Romney, the multimillionaire former private equity executive, came back from a series of campaign stumbles to make it close after besting the president in the first of three presidential debates.

The 65-year-old former Massachusetts governor conceded in a gracious speech delivered to disappointed supporters at the Boston convention center. He had called Obama to concede defeat after a brief controversy over whether the president had really won Ohio.

"This is a time of great challenge for our nation," Romney told the crowd. "I pray that the president will be successful in guiding our nation."

He warned against partisan bickering and urged politicians on both sides to "put the people before the politics."

Obama told his crowd that he hoped to sit down with Romney in the weeks ahead and examine ways to meet the challenges ahead.