Official: Barack Obama wins historic Presidency (Update)

With all but Alaska and Hawaii closed, some news organizations are now projecting Barack Obama as the 44th president of the United States of America. The polls are still being tallied, however, barring completely unforeseen circumstances, Obama is in the White House and McCain put up a decent fight.

MSNBC reports on the victory:

Barack Obama, a 47-year-old first-term senator from Illinois, shattered more than 200 years of history Tuesday night by winning election as the first African-American president in the history of the United States, according to projections by NBC News.

Obama reached the 270 electoral votes he needed for election at 11 p.m. ET, when NBC News projected that he would win California, Washington and Oregon.

Campaigning as a technocratic agent of change in Washington, not as a pathbreaking civil rights figure, Obama swept to victory over Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona, whose running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, was seeking to become the nation’s first female vice president.

A crowd nearing 100,000 people gathered in Grant Park in Chicago, awaiting an address by Obama. Hundreds of thousands more — Mayor Richard Daley said he would not be surprised if a million Chicagoans jammed the streets — were watching on a large television screen outside the park.

Surveys of voters as they left polling places nationwide indicated the breadth of Obama’s victory. As expected, he won overwhelmingly among African-American voters, but he also won a slim majority of white voters. He won among women and Latino voters, reversing a longstanding Republican trend. And he won by more than 2-to-1 among voters of all races 30 years old and younger.

That dynamic was telling in Ohio, which President Bush won in 2004, and in Pennsylvania, where McCain poured in millions of dollars of scarce resources. Obama won both.

Obama also took Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey and New York, all states with hefty electoral vote hauls, NBC News projected. McCain countered with Texas and numerous smaller states, primarily in the South and the Great Plains.

In interviews with NBC News, aides to McCain said they were proud that they had put up a good fight in “historically difficult times.”

A senior adviser said McCain himself was “fine” but that he felt “he let his staff and supporters down.”

Video from ABC News of Obama supporters filling Grant Park in Chicago:

More to come later with Obama’s victory speech and McCain’s concession speech, assuming the remaining states and projections hold steady.

Update

Here’s Obama’s victory speech to supporters in Chicago:

Amazing. Whether you voted for Obama or not, at least be proud of your country that we can go through a peaceful, civilized transition of power.

President Bush has also congratulated Obama, report from Yahoo News:

WASHINGTON – President Bush has called Barack Obama to congratulate him on winning the presidency.

The two-term Republican president told the Illinois senator upon his historic win: “What an awesome night for you, your family and your supporters.”

Barack Obama was elected the nation’s first black president Tuesday night in dominant fashion, besting Republican John McCain.

Bush promised Obama a smooth transition to the White House.

Bush spokeswoman Dana Perino said the president told Obama: “You are about to go on one of the great journeys of life. Congratulations and go enjoy yourself.”

Nice to read about some unity from our leaders.