Several billion dollars were spent on presidential campaigns that didnt change many votes, but it wasnt a waste. Elections do more than determine winners they awaken consciousness and increase knowledge of issues.
Reactionaries and racists had done their best to delegitimize President Obama even before the campaign began:
as not born in the USA which actually wouldnt have mattered since, just like George Romney was, hes a natural-born citizen in any case, because of his (white) mother;
as a Muslim which SHOULDNT have mattered, since his loyalty to the United States is beyond question;
as a socialist/communist charges too silly for words, merely displaying the ignorance of those making the charge.
So, despite all those ridiculous charges and despite treasonous obstruction from Republicans in Congress willing to risk crashing the financial system again over the debt ceiling, and willing to stifle the economy rather than paying for public service jobs Obama won.
And besides all that, Democrats won on many social issues as well. The way forward is clear.