President Barack Obama appeared on the road to re-election when he was declared the winner in Ohio. But a victory in the state of Florida was considered essential in order for Gov. Mitt Romney to win the seat.
The eyes of the nation remained on Florida overnight as the margin between the candidates here remained less than 1 percent with many votes left to be counted.
A recount in the state would be mandatory if the margin is one-half of 1 percent or smaller once all votes are counted.
A recount would be easier than in 2000. Florida no longer uses punch-card ballots. All counties now use electronic voting systems.
In the 2008 presidential election, the state voted for the Democratic candidate, and since the 1990s has voted for the overall winner of the presidential race 3 out of 5 times.
Romney and Obama campaigned aggressively in Florida. The state has typically been a battleground state in recent presidential elections.
The economy was a key issue for many voters in the state, as was healthcare.
Despite the uncertain outcome in Florida, Obama was declared the winner of the national election.