By the time the first of the national news networks had called Campaign 2012 for President Barack Obama, many of his supporters in Greater Memphis already had drawn their own conclusion.
Nervous while GOP candidate Mitt Romney held the early popular-vote lead, that mood transitioned as state after state that had been leaning "blue" officially was assigned to the Obama column. By 10:30 p.m., it was clear that he first African American elected president of the United States had become the first African American re-elected president of the United States. The 44th president would transition to the 45th.
"Forward" – the theme of President Obama's re-election campaign – was the theme of Election Night for his supporters in Memphis and elsewhere. Among them was a group of eight young professional, who sat in their respective homes all communicating via group text as they learned the news that their candidate had secured victory.
"Four years ago we witnessed history," said Chris Harris, administrative assistant at Trinity Financial in Memphis. "President Barack Obama gave hope to a nation in peril. Four years later, we still believe. Forward!"
Shalandus Harris, a Memphis chemist, had imagined a tighter race and was elated with the win and the margin of victory. "I'm looking forward to moving forward for four more years with President Barack Obama. I'll be celebrating for the rest of the month."
Melanie Johnson, a clinical allergy specialist, Dallas, reflected on Election Night 2008.
"Four years ago, we were emotional and excited because we made history," said Johnson "This year, we are excited about the future and the chance to continue to move forward."
The Peabody Hotel in downtown Memphis was "Hooray Central" for many area Democrats.
"The only thing I can say is that I am very excited for four more years," said Latrice Bradley, who was in the Peabody Hotel crowd. "We are fired up and ready to go."
(This story reflects reports by Kelley Evans and Warren Roseborough)