President Obama returns to a divided Washington after the election
POSTED: Wednesday, November 7, 2012 - 6:15pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, November 7, 2012 - 6:19pm
NBC NATIONAL NEWS — Re-elected with more than 300 electoral votes and a majority of the popular vote, President Obama headed back to the White House Wednesday, hoping his victory can break Washington's gridlock.
The president dominated the election map, claiming victory in several key battleground states.
Harry Reid, whose Senate Democratic majority got bigger, quickly demanded the majority House Republicans cuts deals now on taxes and spending.
"The American people want us to work together," Reid said. "Republicans want us to work together. Democrats want us to work together."
Conceding his loss, Mitt Romney called for compromise.
"At a time like this, we can't risk partisan bickering and political posturing," Romney said in his concession speech. "Our leaders have to reach across the aisle to do the people's work."
President Obama also reached out to Romney backers.
"And whether I earned your vote or not, I have listened to you. I have learned from you," Mr. Obama said.
Some Republican strategists say they've learned as well.
"If we don't change and modernize conservatism to fit the changing demographics of America we're going to go extinct," says Mike Murphy.
Bipartisanship and compromise will get a test right away.
Automatic tax hikes and deep defense cuts, the dreaded "Fiscal Cliff", are just seven weeks away.