The swing state that helped launch Obama’s career on the national stage came through a second time.
NBC News declared President Obama the projected winner in Iowa. With the win, he picked up six Electoral College votes. He also won the state in 2008.
Iowa remains a place of both personal and professional significance to the president. He chose Des Moines as the location of his final campaign rally on Monday. He gave an emotional speech to Iowans, and thanked them for taking a chance on him during the Iowa causes in 2008.
“Iowa, you taught me to believe in you,” Obama told a crowd of roughly 20,000 supporters. “We are not done yet on this journey.” He also joked the Hawkeye state for giving him a some grey hairs.
The state started him on his uphill battle to defeat Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination.
A record-breaking number of voters cast their ballots early. Chad Olsen, a spokesman for Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz, estimated 670,000 people voted early as of Monday night.
Polling stations were busy, but voters didn’t experience the usual long lines that come with Election Day. The heavy push by campaigns, primarily the Democratic side, to take advantage of early voting has been credited with increasing voter turnout and shrinking the wait time in voting lines.