REUTERS - Americans re-elected Democratic President Barack Obama on Tuesday after a tightly contested race against Republican Mitt Romney. Below are some comments made by candidates, observers and voters:
OBAMA, tweeting after networks projected his victory:
"This happened because of you. Thank you."
"We're all in this together. That's how we campaigned, and that's who we are. Thank you. -bo"
OBAMA, delivering his victory speech:
"Tonight, in this election, you, the American people, reminded us that while our road has been hard, while our journey has been long, we have picked ourselves up, we have fought our way back, and we know in our hearts that for the United States of America, the best is yet to come."
"We may have battled fiercely, but it's only because we love this country deeply and we care so strongly about its future."
"Democracy in a nation of 300 million can be noisy and messy and complicated. We have our own opinions. Each of us has deeply held beliefs. And when we go through tough times or we make big decisions as a country, it necessarily stirs passions, stirs up controversy. That won't change after tonight. And it shouldn't.
"Despite all our differences, most of us share certain hopes for America's future. ... We want our children to live in America that isn't burdened by debt, that isn't weakened by inequality, that isn't threatened by the destructive power of a warming planet."
"Forward, that's where we need to go. Now, we will disagree, sometimes fiercely about how to get there. As it has for more than two centuries, progress will come in fits and starts, it's not always a straight line, it's not always a smooth path... That common bond is where we must begin."
"Tonight, you voted for action, not politics as usual."
ROMNEY, conceding the election to Obama:
"The nation as you know is at a critical point. At a time like this we can't risk partisan bickering and political posturing. Our leaders have to reach across the aisle to do the people's work... And we look to Democrats and Republicans in government at all levels to put the people before the politics.
"I believe in America. I believe in the people of America. And I ran for office because I'm concerned about America. This election is over but our principles endure and I believe that the principles upon which this nation was founded are the only sure guide to a resurgent economy and renewed greatness."
"I so wish that I had been able to fulfill your hopes to lead the country in another direction, but the nation chose another leader and so Ann and I join with you to earnestly pray for him and for this great nation."
SEN. JOHN CORNYN, chairman National Republican Senatorial Committee:
"It's clear that with our losses in the presidential race, and a number of key Senate races, we have a period of reflection and recalibration ahead for the Republican Party. While some will want to blame one wing of the party over the other, the reality is candidates from all corners of our GOP lost tonight. Clearly we have work to do in the weeks and months ahead."
JOHN BOEHNER, Republican speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, on Republicans maintaining House majority:
"The American people want solutions and tonight they responded by renewing our House Republican majority. With this vote, the American people also made clear there's no mandate for raising tax rates. Americans want better solutions that will ease the burdens of small businesses, bring jobs home and let our economy grow. We stand willing to work with any willing partner... who shares a commitment to getting those things done."
SCOTT BROWN, Massachusetts Republican, on losing Senate seat to Democrat Elizabeth Warren:
"We stood strong in the fight and we stand strong now even in disappointment. ... You all sent me to Washington to be my own man, and I'll be returning my own man. And for that, I am very, very proud."
ELIZABETH WARREN, accepting the Massachusetts Senate seat:
"For every family that has been chipped and squeezed and hammered, we're going to fight for a level playing field. ... To all the small business owners who are tired of a system rigged against them, we're going to hold the big guys accountable."
"An amazing campaign. And let me be clear: I didn't build that, you built that. And you did what everyone thought was impossible: You taught a scrappy first-time candidate how to get in the ring and win."
TODD AKIN, Republican, conceding Missouri Senate race:
"I always said, don't trust those polls and that's been true. But I also think that in the circumstances that we've all been through, that it's particularly appropriate to thank God... So I say, to God alone, be the honor and the glory regardless of how He decides to organize history."
SYMONE VILLALONA, call-center worker in Nevada, first-time voter who backed Obama:
"I like someone who's for the people, the middle class. Romney didn't seem like he cared that much."
MELANIE KATSUR, attorney, Romney backer in Washington, D.C.:
"I think that the rate with which the deficits have grown is not acceptable. I am fortunate enough to have a job, but I know a lot of people who don't."
PAUL DIRKS, retired mathematics professor and Obama supporter in Florida, on this year's ad barrage:
"It's been the ugliest campaign I've ever seen in my life and I'm 71 years old. ... I felt like throwing stones at my TV."
NOREEN TAYLOR, Democrat voting in Nevada:
"Elections used to be about stuff, about issues and specifics. We used to have statesmen. Now we just have salesmen."
Reporting by Reuters reporters around the country; Reporting and compiled by Alina Selyukh; Editing by Jim Loney and Leslie Gevirtz