In what was a hard-fought campaign from both sides, President Barack Obama has emerged as the victor to become the 44th President of the United States. Riding a late wave of optimism after his widely-approved handling of Hurricane Sandy the President went on to capture at least 303 of the electoral votes with 270 needed to win (Florida has not been counted as of this writing).

Obama was re-elected with the highest unemployment rate of any president returning to office since Franklin Roosevelt in 1936 who guided the nation through the Great Depression, a chapter in America’s history often seen as a parallel to today’s situation.

The President also managed to break social media records by tweeting a picture of himself hugging his wife with the caption “Four more years.” The text along with the image was retweeted over 600,000 times and Twitter reports that November 6th was the most tweeted about day in history.

In both Colorado and Washington voters approved measures to regulate the cultivation, manufacturing, and selling of marijuana under Amendment 64 and Initiative 502 respectively. Both measures make it legal for persons 21 or older to use the drug recreationally under state law. Washington also became the first state on the west coast to formally legalize same-sex marriage under Referendum 74.

The tropical island of Puerto Rico faced a fundamental decision when voters were asked whether or not they would like to continue living as a U.S. territory as they have for the past 114 years, and if not, what type of relationship with the U.S. they would like. A majority of voters decided they would not like to continue as a U.S. territory and in fact would like to be included as the 51st state. Obama has stated that he supports the referendum and the will of the people but any change would require approval by the U.S. Congress. Nonetheless it is a step toward the direction of statehood which, if granted, would update the Flag of the United States for the first time in 52 years.

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