Barack Obama won the crucial battleground states of Florida, Virginia, Ohio, and Pennsylvania to clinch victory over John McCain and secure his place in history, MSNBC reports. The 47-year-old Illinois senator will become the nation's first black president when he succeeds George W. Bush in January. Obama reached the 270 electoral votes needed at 11pm ET when he won the states of California, Washington, and Oregon.
"The American people have spoken, and they have spoken clearly," McCain told supporters in Arizona. "This is an historic election," he added, expressing admiration for Obama's success in inspiring African-Americans. McCain failed to hold all the red states won by Bush in 2004—including Ohio, New Mexico, and Iowa—and could not flip any blue states won by John Kerry. Obama had about 51% of the popular vote with 76% of the votes in.