MUCK-RAKE ELECTION CENTER – The Amherst Muck-Rake projects that Barack Obama has won re-election as president of the United States, defeating former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney to retain his office for four more years.  The Muck-Rake bases its projection on preliminary vote totals and a variety of state and national exit polls.  Obama’s victory marks the re-election of the first African American president and the culmination of a hard-fought, nearly-two-year contest.  However, The Muck-Rake also projects that the Republican Party will retain control of the U.S. House of Representatives in the 113th Congress, presumably empowering the president’s opponents in critical year-end negotiations over the pending “fiscal cliff.”