UNDATED (USA TODAY) -- Barack Obama's get-out-the-vote organization came through, just as it had in 2008, helping the president retain office. Mitt Romney never overcame his image as an out-of-touch millionaire and he lost the female and Hispanic vote to the president.
- Barack Obama: Ohio and the auto bailout- a resonant issue in Ohio, where an estimated one in eight jobs depends on the auto industry.
- Mitt Romney: The September jobs report showed unemployment dropping to less than eight percent for the first time in four years, stealing a key line from Romney's stump speech.
- Barack Obama: Hurricane Sandy gave Obama a chance to exhibit presidential leadership in a very public way and forced a surging Romney off the campaign trail.
- Mitt Romney: Despite ad campaigns, targeted messaged and polls that showed women were warming to Romney in the final days - he still lost the female vote big to Obama. And Romney was crushed among Hispanics, were even worse than John McCain in 2008.
- Barack Obama: Obama aides said their get-out-the-vote machine, with an emphasis on early voting, would be as good as the one that broke records in 2008. And Obama often talked about the "mess" he inherited from his Republican predecessor. Enough voters apparently agreed.
- Mitt Romney: Romney cast himself as a moderate, then a committed conservative and back again, leaving some people concerned about his true identity.
- Barack Obama: Obama pounded the message over and over again: "Osama Bin Laden is dead, and General Motors is alive." It worked.
- Mitt Romney: Romney's infamous off-the-cuff comment eroded his credibility with key constituencies, and reinforced his image as an out-of-touch rich guy.
(Source: USA Today)