The president headed into Election Day locked in a close race with Romney, according to national polls. But he appeared to have a slight edge in some key battlegrounds that will decide the contest, including Ohio, Iowa and Wisconsin.
There was no traditional Election Day photo of Obama voting Tuesday because he did so in Chicago last week, part of his campaign's effort to promote early voting. First lady Michelle Obama voted by absentee ballot.
One tradition Obama kept, however, was his Election Day basketball game.
A savvy basketball fan, Obama was joined by former Chicago Bulls star Scottie Pippen, childhood friends Mike Ramos and Marty Nesbitt, and Education Secretary Arne Duncan, a former captain of Harvard's basketball team.
In 2008, Obama played basketball with aides before winning the kickoff Iowa caucuses. They decided to make the games an Election Day tradition after he lost the next contest, the New Hampshire primary, on a day when they didn't hit the court.
"We made the mistake of not playing basketball once. I can assure you we will not repeat that," said Robert Gibbs, a longtime Obama aide who accompanied the president in the campaign's waning days.
The president planned to spend part of the day at home and part at a downtown hotel, where family, friends and aides would join him in the evening to await the election returns.
He was expected to speak at his campaign's election night party at McCormick Place convention center.