Factbox: Quotes from the 2012 U.S. election

Americans re-elected Democrat Barack Obama as president on Tuesday after a tightly contested race against Republican Mitt Romney. Below are some comments made by candidates, observers and voters:

OBAMA, tweeting after networks projected his victory:

"This happened because of you. Thank you."

"We're all in this together. That's how we campaigned, and that's who we are. Thank you. -bo"

GEORGE SOROS, billionaire investor and big Democratic donor:

"The American electorate has rejected extremist positions, opening the door for a more sensible politics. Hopefully the Republicans in office will make better partners in the coming years, most urgently in avoiding the so-called fiscal cliff."

JOHN BOEHNER, Republican speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, on Republicans maintaining House majority:

"The American people want solutions and tonight they responded by renewing our House Republican majority. With this vote, the American people also made clear there's no mandate for raising tax rates. Americans want better solutions that will ease the burdens of small businesses, bring jobs home and let our economy grow. We stand willing to work with any willing partner ... who shares a commitment to getting those things done."

SCOTT BROWN, Massachusetts Republican, on losing Senate seat to Democrat Elizabeth Warren:

"We stood strong in the fight and we stand strong now even in disappointment. ... You all sent me to Washington to be my own man, and I'll be returning my own man. And for that, I am very, very proud."

WARREN, accepting the Massachusetts Senate seat:

"For every family that has been chipped and squeezed and hammered, we're going to fight for a level playing field. ... To all the small business owners who are tired of a system rigged against them, we're going to hold the big guys accountable."

"An amazing campaign. And let me be clear: I didn't build that, you built that. And you did what everyone thought was impossible: You taught a scrappy first-time candidate how to get in the ring and win."

TODD AKIN, Republican, conceding Missouri Senate race:

"I always said, don't trust those polls and that's been true. But I also think that in the circumstances that we've all been through, that it's particularly appropriate to thank God... So I say, to God alone, be the honor and the glory regardless of how He decides to organize history."

SARAH PALIN, former Republican vice presidential candidate and Alaska governor:

"I just cannot believe that the majority of Americans would believe that incurring more debt is good for our economy, for our children's future, for job creators. I cannot believe that the majority of Americans would believe that it's OK not to follow the Constitution and not have a budget. ... It's a perplexing time for many of us."

SYMONE VILLALONA, call-center worker in Nevada, first-time voter who backed Obama:

"I like someone who's for the people, the middle class. Romney didn't seem like he cared that much."

MELANIE KATSUR, attorney, Romney backer in Washington, D.C.:

"I think that the rate with which the deficits have grown is not acceptable. I am fortunate enough to have a job, but I know a lot of people who don't."

LYDA SWOGGER, first-time voter supporting Obama in Ohio:

"Obama stands for most of the same things I do. He inherited a mess and he needs more time to fix it."

PAUL DIRKS, retired mathematics professor and Obama supporter in Florida, on this year's ad barrage:

"It's been the ugliest campaign I've ever seen in my life and I'm 71 years old. ... I felt like throwing stones at my TV."

NOREEN TAYLOR, Democrat voting in Nevada:

"Elections used to be about stuff, about issues and specifics. We used to have statesmen. Now we just have salesmen."

(Reporting by Reuters reporters around the country; Compiled by Alina Selyukh; Editing by Jim Loney)