United States: Obama re-elected for a second term
November 8, 2012
President Barack Obama was re-elected for a second term after defeating Republican Party candidate Mitt Romney in the elections held on 6 November. At the time of writing, Obama had obtained 303 electoral votes, already exceeding the 270 votes necessary to ensure re-election. As widely expected, the Republican Party maintained a majority in the House of Representatives, while Democrats were able to hold on to their majority in the Senate, where only a third of the seats were up for re-election. These results lead to what is known as a "divided government", therefore increasing the possibility of a political stalemate in the country. With the so-called "fiscal cliff" - a series of major tax breaks and spending programmes running out on 31 December which amount to more than USD 600 billion - looming, the economic outlook for 2013 continues to be overshadowed by the political developments in the coming months. If these policy changes go into full effect, this could shave as much as four percentage points off U.S. GDP growth, according to estimates by the Congressional Budget Office, likely driving the American economy back into recession.