Election Day 2012 will long be remembered as the occasion of a great personal and political victory for President Barack Obama.

The president and his team displayed keen insight into the changing face of America, and voters responded with a much more decisive win for the Democratic incumbent than had been generally anticipated.

The 2012 election also represented a major victory for Democrats in the U.S. Senate.

It appears the Dems have picked up at least two Senate seats and will continue to hold a majority in the 100-seat body, a reversal from predictions Republicans might take over the Senate.

Democrats scored a moral victory in the U.S. House of Representatives, gaining about eight seats, but the GOP will still hold a commanding majority for the next two years.

In one sense, the election confirmed the status quo, with the Democratic Party continuing to hold the White House and the Senate and the GOP controlling the House following Inauguration Day on Jan. 20.

But the American public made it clear Tuesday it prefers the direction the Obama administration is taking the country to the sometimes mixed promises of Mitt Romney.

And in that regard, other Election Day winners include women, minorities, gays, the middle class, the poor and the future of the Supreme Court in what history will likely record as a watershed election.

On a statewide basis in Connecticut, Tuesday was a big day for incumbents and for Democrats.

Democrat Chris Murphy, who for the past six years has ably served the Greater New Milford area as the congressman from the 5th District, survived a nasty campaign and tens of millions of dollars in spending by his Republican opponent, Linda McMahon, to capture the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Joe Lieberman.

The Democratic incumbents in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th districts were all re-elected, and Democrat Elizabeth Esty held on to Congressman Murphy's seat for the Dems by scoring a narrow victory over Republican Andrew Roraback, the widely respected longtime state senator from the 30th District, which includes much of the Greater New Milford area.

More locally, Republicans had a big day in state Senate and state House races.

Incumbents Mike McLachlan, whose 24th District includes Sherman, and Robert Kane, whose 32nd District includes Bridgewater and Roxbury, both won re-election, while Clark Chapin stepped up from his 67th District House seat to win the 30th District Senate post vacated by Sen. Roraback, and Cecilia Buck-Taylor gained election in the 67th.

Republicans also held on to three other area House seats in Greater New Milford via uncontested elections.

Incumbents of both parties generally had a big day across the state in legislative races, and Democrats are expected to go into the next session with majorities similar to the 99-52 House advantage and 22-14 Senate edge they currently enjoy.

The voters have spoken, and now it is up to the elected officials to deliver solutions to the myriad challenges at both the national and state levels, and the gridlock in Washington, D.C.

President Obama and Gov. Romney both set the stage for a more bipartisan future with gracious, conciliatory post-election speeches.

Now it is incumbent on elected officials in both parties to follow suit.