Barack Obama has taken command of the race for president of the United States after defeating John McCain in Ohio and Pennsylvania, giving him a lead in the Electoral College that is practically insurmountable, according to several news organizations.

Democrats have also made gains in both houses of Congress, riding Obama’s political coattails.

Obama’s victory in Ohio gave him a particularly solid win because no Republican has ever won the White House without winning that state.

The Associated Press reported that Obama watched returns at a downtown Chicago hotel, then went home to a family dinner, ending a marathon campaign across 49 states and 21 months.

A jubilant crowd of thousands gathered in Grant Park across town, according to the AP. Cheers went up from the crowd each time Obama won another state, and they were particularly loud after he won Pennsylvania, a Democratic-leaning state where McCain had tried hardest to break through, according to the AP.