President Barack Obama has claimed a second term from an incredibly divided electorate in trying economic times. He is bracing for daunting challenges and progress that comes only in fits and starts.

He told supporters at a victory rally early this morning that "the best is yet to come."

Obama claimed a commanding electoral mandate — at least 303 electoral votes to 206 for Romney — although the popular vote was closer.

The same voters who gave Obama another four years also elected a divided Congress. Democrats retained control of the Senate; Republicans renewed their majority in the House.

1:04 a.m. 

Saying his team had "left everything on the field," Romney told his supporters the "election is over." He said he would pray for Obama in his second term.

11:30 p.m.

NewsWorks editor Brian Hickey spoke with Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter to get reaction to President Barack Obama's projected re-election victory.

Reacting to the news, Nutter said, "It's an incredible night, a historic night. I could not be happier. The president deserved to be re-elected."

Nutter then said that Philadelphia, and Pennsylvania, could have played an integral role in Obama's defeat of Republican Mitt Romney. A key to the race going in was driving turnout, and Nutter said it was driven to higher levels than four years earlier.

"It looks like we gave Obama a larger margin of victory out of Philadelphia than in 2008. If we did, that'd be incredible," Nutter said via cell phone from a Center City victory party.

With 96.98 percent of the vote counted, Obama got 551,070 votes to Romney's 90,989. The margin of victory: 460,081 votes.

In the official count from 2008, Obama received 595,980 votes with a margin of victory of 478,759.

In 2008,

11:10 p.m.

NBC News has just projected that Barack Obama has won Ohio. If the projections hold, this likely means that Obama has won a second term in the White House as challenger Mitt Romney has run out of ways to win the electoral vote.

11:05 p.m.

President Barack Obama has been projected to win California, Washington and Hawaii while Republican challenger Mitt Romney is expected to win Idaho. With those projections, NBC News has the electoral map at 243-188 in favor of the incumbent.

However, Virginia, Ohio and Florida are still too close to call.

NBC News has named Romney the apparent winner in North Carolina, a state that was deemed a must-win for the Republican.

11 p.m.

Republican incumbent U.S. Rep. Jim Gerlach again fought off a challenge from Democrat Manan Trivedi in Pennsylvania's 6th Congressional district, according to NewsWorks' Zach Seward.

As of 11 p.m. Tuesday night, Gerlach had substantial leads in each of the four counties comprising the district.

Local television stations are calling the race for Gerlach.

Gerlach has served in the U.S. House of Representatives since 2003. It appears likely he will begin his sixth term this January.

Trivedi, a former Navy combat surgeon who served in the Iraq War, ran against Gerlach in 2010, losing by a 14 percent margin.

The district was redrawn following the 2010 Census. The new PA-06 has a slight edge in Republican registration.

A raucous crowd of Democratic supporters at the Liberty Tap Room in Reading cheered televised election results Tuesday night.

Trivedi had yet to speak.