Nov 6, 2012 No Comments ›› Pat Dollard
Excerpted from Fox News: Mitt Romney and President Obama each racked up early and expected victories Tuesday night in relatively safe territory, while some of the biggest battlegrounds that will decide the election remained too close to call.
All the big swing states where polls have closed — Florida, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia and North Carolina — were too close to call, Fox News projects.
Romney is the projected winner in Alabama, Mississippi and Oklahoma, as well as in West Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia, Indiana and Kentucky.
Fox News projects Obama is the winner in his home state of Illinois, Delaware, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Vermont and the District of Columbia.
Obama will also win three of Maine’s four electoral votes, Fox News projects. It is unclear where the state’s fourth electoral vote will fall.
The latest batch of poll closings, and results, has allowed Obama to take a slight lead over the Republican nominee. Obama has 79 electoral votes to Romney’s 71; it takes 270 to win. But with dozens of states still voting, the lead will likely swing back and forth throughout the night.
Ohio, where polls closed at 7:30 p.m. ET, is too close to call. Fox News exit polls show Romney and Obama running neck-and-neck in the Buckeye State. The contest is considered critical — only twice in U.S. history has anyone won the presidency without winning Ohio.
In Virginia, Fox News exit polls show the race so tight that neither Romney nor Obama have even a slight lead.
The razor-thin margin between the candidates means the campaigns could be in for a long night, after the candidates wound down their campaigns earlier in the day.
Election Day, though, was unexpectedly busy for the campaigns. While Obama himself kept a low profile in Chicago, the campaign dispatched Vice President Biden to Ohio where he visited a Cleveland restaurant and later posed for pictures with volunteers before joining up with the president.
Romney, meanwhile, made stops in Ohio and Pennsylvania — two key swing states — before heading back to campaign headquarters in Boston.
“This is a big day for big change,” Romney told a crowd of campaign volunteers outside Cleveland.
The visits rounded out a grueling battle for the White House. For Obama, the election is the last time he says his name will appear on a ballot. For Romney, the vote marks the close of a nearly six-year run for the presidency.
In an airtight contest, both candidates were expressing confidence as millions of voters flocked to the polls. Obama visited a Chicago campaign field office Tuesday morning, before playing his traditional Election Day game of pick-up basketball.
“The great thing about these campaigns is, after all the TV ads and all the fundraising and all the debates and all the electioneering, it comes down to this,” Obama said.