US media claims Barack Obama has won Florida in the US presidential election

Monday 12 November 2012 11.58
Florida brings Barack Obama's total of electoral votes to 332
Florida brings Barack Obama's total of electoral votes to 332

With almost all ballots in Florida counted, US media claims President Barack Obama is the winner in the state four days after he won Tuesday's national election.

Florida brings his total of electoral votes to 332 versus 206 for Republican challenger Mitt Romney.

Florida was the last state where the outcome was in doubt because three counties were still counting ballots.

Mr Obama had 50.01% of the vote in Florida compared with 49.13% for Mr Romney.

The president's lead stood at nearly 74,000 votes with nearly all ballots counted. 

CNN projected that Mr Obama would win Florida. NBC and the Associated Press also were among the media outlets that called the state for Mr Obama based on the latest tally.

With the victory in Florida, Mr Obama swept all of the battleground states, with the exception of North Carolina, which he won narrowly in 2008.

The Democratic Party in Florida had declared victory on Thursday and Republicans tacitly conceded defeat.

Florida was the scene of a historic fight over ballot counting after the 2000 presidential election.

The US Supreme Court ultimately ruled that Republican George W Bush should be awarded the state's electoral votes and the presidency.

The delay in finalising Florida's result this year did not affect the national outcome but raised concerns that some of the problems in 2000 had not been resolved 12 years later.

Exit polls indicate that Mr Obama picked up 61% of Florida's Hispanic vote to 39% for Mr Romney.

This underscores the Republican Party's lack of appeal to the country's fastest-growing electoral group.

South Florida's large Cuban-American community, usually a solid Republican voting bloc, also voted for the Democrats in record numbers, according to exit poll data released by the Obama campaign.

Mr Obama won 48% of the Cuban-American vote, and upset Mr Romney in Miami's Little Havana district.

The Little Havana district is considered the heart of the Cuban exile community, where a survey of precincts showed Mr Obama won 56% of ballots cast.