Update: This article was updated at noon on Wednesday, Nov. 7 with quotes from Gov. Chris Christie.
President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden were re-elected Tuesday night, defeating Republican challenger Mitt Romney and his vice-presidential running mate Rep. Paul Ryan.
NBC News called the presidential election for Obama around 11:15 EST. The president sent a message on Twitter at 10:14 saying simply, "This happened because of you. Thank you."
"The task of perfecting our union moves forward. It moves forward because of you," Obama told supporters in his acceptance speech shortly after 1:30 a.m. Wednesday. "It moves forward because you reaffirmed the spirit that has triumphed over war and depression. The spirit that has lifted this country from the depths of despair to the great heights of hope.
"We are an American family and we rise or fall together as one nation and as one people."
The president, who visited the Garden State last week in the wake of Superstorm Sandy, pointed to government leaders on both sides of the aisle in New Jersey and New York who have come together to assist those in need.
"I've seen it on the shores of New Jersey and New York where leaders of every party and every level of government have swept aside their differences to help a community rebuild from a wreckage of a terrible storm," Obama said.
The Obama campaign won the most expensive presidential race ever, with both parties raising about $2.6 billion. The race was filled with negative campaigning on both sides, from President Obama attacking Romney’s business experience with Bain Capital to Romney lambasting Obama’s handling of the economy.
The race tightened during the final months of the campaign, with gaffes and surges from both candidates. After a weak performance after the Republican Convention, Romney surged following Obama’s listless performance after the first presidential debate. Nevertheless, the president cemented a lead in battleground states heading into Tuesday’s election.
Obama won New Jersey and its 14 electoral votes.
Obama’s performance in the Garden State wasn't surprising, considering New Jersey has voted for the Democratic candidate in recent presidential elections.
Newark Democratic Mayor Cory Booker offered his support of the president on Twitter soon after the race was called.
"Congratulations PRESIDENT Barack Obama - again!," Booker wrote.
In a brief concession speech delivered before 1 a.m., Romney urged the country's political leaders to come together in a spirit of bipartisanship.
"This is a time of great challenges for America and I pray the president will be successful in guiding our nation," Romney said. "The nation is at a critical point. At times like these we can't risk partisan bickering."
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who campaigned across the country for Romney, said he was disappointed by the election results. He dismissed criticism leveled by some Republicans that he had "embraced" Obama during the president's visit to the state in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
"I was the first governor in America to endorese Mitt Romeny. I've
worked harder than any other surrogate other than Paul Ryan," Christie said during a press conference Wednesday. "I'm extraordinarily disappointed. I put a lot of time and effort into the Mitt Romney campaign."