US Presidential Elections: Barack Obama thanks Mitt Romney for campaign

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012 1:12:59 by

President Barack Obama congratulated his Republican rival Mitt Romney for waging a “spirited campaign, saying he expects to have a good night by the end of Election Day.

Obama spent the day in his hometown Chicago meeting with volunteers and calling some of them personally to thank them for their work, before he hosts a results-watching party in the city.

“I also want to say to Governor Romney, congratulations on a spirited campaign,” Obama said, using words that suggest a tone of finality to a process that is far from over.

“I know that his supporters are just as engaged and just as enthusiastic and working just as hard today,” he added.

“So I would encourage everybody on all sides just to make sure that you exercise this precious right that you have that people fought so hard for.”

The race is very close, although Obama has made gains in recent days and leads in polls in most of the key battleground states where voters are likely to determine the election.

“I’m looking forward to the results, and I expect that we’ll have a good night,” Obama told reporters. “But no matter what happens, I just want to say how much I appreciate everybody who has supported me, everybody who has worked so hard on my behalf.

And again, I want to congratulate Governor Romney and his team for a hard-fought race as well.”

However, in a radio interview broadcast Tuesday, Obama acknowledged some jitters. “I think anybody who’s running for office would be lying if they say that there’s not some butterflies before the polls come in because anything can happen,” he said. “That’s the magic of democracy. It’s up to the people to decide.

“But at a certain point you get calm, because if you know you’ve done anything you can do, then the process is working the way it’s supposed to.

Obama had no plans to venture outside of Chicago on Election Day, and he already voted last month, becoming the first sitting president to take advantage of early voting operations.

Romney for his part voted early Tuesday in Belmont, in the state of Massachusetts where he once served as governor.

He then flew out to the crucial toss-up state of Ohio to meet volunteers in Cleveland and help with get-out-the-vote efforts, including making phone calls.

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