Obama: Change has come

Published 2:35 am Wednesday, November 5, 2008

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Barack Obama swept to victory as the nation’s first black president Tuesday night in an electoral college landslide that overcame racial barriers as old as America itself. “Change has come,” he told to a huge throng of jubilant supporters.

The son of a black father from Kenya and a white mother from Kansas, the Democratic senator from Illinois sealed his historic triumph by defeating Republican Sen. John McCain in a string of wins in hard-fought battleground states — Ohio, Florida, Virginia, Iowa and more.

On a night for Democrats to savor, they not only elected Obama the nation’s 44th president but padded their majorities in the House and Senate, and come January will control both the White House and Congress for the first time since 1994.

Obama’s election capped a meteoric rise — from mere state senator to president-elect in four years.

In his first speech as victor, Obama catalogued the challenges ahead. “The greatest of a lifetime,” he said, “two wars, a planet in peril, the worst financial crisis in a century.”

While Obama won 51 percent of the nation’s popular vote, he captured 338 electoral college votes.

But Alabama and Covington County remained a red state and county. Obama only received 39 percent of the popular votes in the state and only 21 percent in Covington County.