Mitt Romney in campaign
Mitt Romney in campaignReuters

Mitt Romney has conceded the election to President Barack Obama, who is projected to win 303 electoral votes and 51% of the popular vote.   

"This is a time of great challenges for American, and I pray that the president will be successful in guiding our nation," Romney told supporters in Boston.

“I so wish, I so wish, that I had been able to fulfill your hopes to lead the country in a different direction. But the nation chose another leader, and so Ann and I join with you to earnestly pray for him, and for this great nation.”

The popular vote, as of 10 a.m. Israeli time, gives Obama a lead of 1%, 56,526,022 aganst 54,984,624 for Romney.

In the all-important Electoral College vote, virtually all media outlets and analysts have declared Obama the victor, but the Romney campaign said it does not accept their declaration that the president won the swing state of Ohio.

The situation in Ohio is complicated by approximately 2 million absentee ballots, not all of which have been counted.

The PolicyMic website estimates that Obama will win 281-303 Electoral College votes and Romney taking 235-257 for Romney.

Despite the current virtual tie in the popular vote, it estimates Obama will surge ahead and win by 2%.

Obama has won most of the swing states, according to the preliminary results, defeating Romney in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin. Colorado and Nevada also appear to have voted against Romney, and Obama also holds a lead in Iowa.