After nearly $1 billion spent on TV advertising, dozens of debates, and countless primaries, caucuses, and polls, today is the day: Election Day 2012. Republican hopefuls battled through state contests, winnowing the group down to the eventual nominee, Mitt Romney. The incumbent, President Barack Obama, formally announced his re-election campaign on April 4, 2011, and began engaging Mitt Romney once it became apparent he would get the Republican nomination. Since then, both teams have traveled thousands of miles on cross-country trips from strongholds to swing states to ask for your vote. Gathered here are photographs from the trail, a look back at Campaign 2012 as it comes to a close.
The choice. At left, Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, listens to a question from a reporter in Livonia, Michigan, on February 28, 2012. At right, President Barack Obama speaks as a tear streams down his face, at his final campaign stop, on November 5, 2012, in Des Moines, Iowa.
(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, Carolyn Kaster)
Voters put corn kernels into jars with their favorite Republican presidential candidates on the first day of the Iowa State Fair, on August 11, 2011 in Des Moines, Iowa. The candidates, including Mitt Romney, John Huntsman and Newt Gingrich, visited the fair ahead of Saturday's Iowa Straw Poll to greet voters and engage in traditional Iowa campaigning rituals.
(Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Minnesota Republican Representative Michele Bachmann addresses a crowd during a welcome home event in her hometown of Waterloo, Iowa, on Sunday, June 26, 2011. Bachmann said her bid to unseat President Barack Obama shouldn't be viewed as "anything personal" against the Democrat -- he's "just wrong" on his policies for America.
(AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain stops to address the media as he arrives for a meeting with developer Donald Trump, in New York, on October 3, 2011. He's a mathematician, a minister, a former radio talk show host and pizza magnate. But most of all, Herman Cain is a salesman. And how he sells. "The sleeping giant called 'we the people' has awakened," Cain thunders, pacing the stage in his trademark dark suit, brown fedora and "lucky" gold tie, delivering a rollicking, 45-minute performance that evokes an old-fashioned church revival, complete with cries of "Amen" from his audience.
(AP Photo/Richard Drew)
Former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman walks with his wife Mary Kaye (left) and daughter Gracie Mei (right) before announcing his candidacy for the Republican U.S. presidential 2012 campaign at Liberty State Park in Jersey City, New Jersey, on June 21, 2011. Huntsman, President Barack Obama's former ambassador to China, entered his party's 2012 presidential race on Tuesday pledging to make the "hard decisions" to deal with America's debt.
Republican presidential candidate, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum waits for an interview in Miami, on January 27, 2012. Santorum was taking a pause from Florida campaigning just days before the Tuesday primary that even he expected to deal him a third consecutive loss.
(AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
President Barack Obama tries to evade the wandering fingers of 8-month-old Cooper Wall Wagner as he poses for a picture with his parents, Captain Greg Wagner and Meredith Wagner as Obama met U.S. Marines and their families having lunch at Kaneohe Bay Marine Corps base in Hawaii, on December 25, 2011.
Associated Press Instagram photos from the campaign trail, Romney/Ryan edition: Romney's view in Doswell, Virginia. / Romney press pool hold in St. Petersburg, Florida. / Ryan campaign flight arriving in Ohio. / Mitt Romney after a campaign event in Doswell, Virginia. / "Guess Who?" Romney campaign edition / Catering at a campaign event in Mansfield, Ohio. / "Over the shoulder shot", Denver / Romney supporters in Kissimmee, Florida.
(AP Photo/ Charles Dharapak, Mary Altaffer)
Associated Press Instagram photos from the campaign trail, Obama/Biden edition: Delegate Richard Rios from Virgin Islands dances at DNC Charlotte / Media center at DNC. / Flying west on Air Force One. / The media center at Center College before the start of the VP debate. / Air Force One tarmac with cameras. / Bill Clinton front and center DNC Charlotte. / Columbus Ohio with President Obama. / Approaching Columbus, Ohio on Air Force One.
(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster,Jae C. Hong, Charles Dharapak, J. David Ake)