Just before midnight on the evening of election day, November 4, 2008, in Chicago's Grant Park, Barack Obama acknowledged victory in a speech to the hundred thousand people who gathered to consecrate this moment. His win had been decisive. Almost 70 million Americans voted for him, whereas John McCain received only 60 million of the ballots cast. The sway of Obama's performance over swing states, as well as independent, moderate, and Republican-leaning voters, allowed Democrats also to gain eight seats in the Senate and twenty-one in the House, paving the way to a supermajority in the U.S. Senate for the first time since 1979. America had elected a civil hero. He was to restore the utopian spirit of the nation's revolutionary origins and the promise of its founding fathers to create a more perfect democracy.
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