After an intensely fought and divisive campaign, US President George W. Bush won his re-election bid, defeating his Democratic rival, Senator John Kerry, by more than 3 million votes.
Bush won the election by the smallest margin -- as a percentage of the popular vote -- for a sitting president in US history.
The election, which according to some observers took place in a highly-charged partisan atmosphere, was attended by the usual character assassination and ad hominem attacks.
With the two competitors remaining neck-and-neck in opinion polls for several months prior to the Nov. 2 election, the focus of the campaigns was on key "swing states," such as Ohio and Florida, where the popular vote was extremely close, thus leaving the states' numerous electoral votes up for grabs.
But the Bush team prevailed in the end, and one of the greatest causes for relief, from the US' perspective, was that the "hanging chads" debacle of 2000 was avoided.
Although there were several recounts, and it took almost two days for the election result to become clear, Kerry conceded the race to his opponent.
Both houses of the US Congress were also the scene of partisan wrangling in last year's elections, with 34 seats of the 100-seat Senate up for election and the entire House of Representatives up for grabs.
The Republican Party was able to secure a majority in both houses of the legislature, leaving the Democratic Party reeling from a triple defeat.
Shortly after his re-election was confirmed, Bush began a major reshuffle of his cabinet.