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All the 50 states and Washington DC voted across six different time zones to elect the 45th US president.

Many of the polling stations have closed. So far:

Image source U.S. Marine Corps

Image source U.S. Marine Corps

  • Donald Trump has projected wins in Ohio, Texas, Indiana, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Mississippi, West Virginia, South Carolina, Tennessee, Kansas, N Dakota, S Dakota, Wyoming, Nebraska, Arkansas, Montana, Louisiana, Missouri, North Carolina, Florida.
  • Hillary Clinton has New York, Connecticut, Vermont, DC, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Delaware, Illinois, Rhode Island, New Mexico, Colorado, California.

Ohio is a bellwether swing state that has backed the winner at every presidential contest except one since World War Two.

Donald Trump spent much of the end of his campaign claiming the election would be rigged – but at the moment, the New York Times is predicting he has a better chance of winning than his rival.

It also suggests Donald Trump could win enough electoral college votes to become president but lose the popular vote.

The final voting precincts on the west coast won’t even begin to be tallied until early Wednesday morning, but the election could be decided much earlier than that.

Polls begin to close at 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time, and results will flood in not long thereafter. Whichever candidate reaches 270 electoral college votes wins the White House.

Crucially, Barack Obama won each of the swing states listed below in 2008.

7:00 p.m.: Virginia is the first battleground state to close its polls. Barack Obama has a slight lead in most recent polls, but the state is essentially a tossup. The president won the state in 2008 by 6.3% – but Mitt Romney has made it essential to his election strategy. If he wins Virginia, and its 13 electoral votes, it will confirm that the national race is as tight as everyone believed it to be. If Barack Obama wins, Mitt Romney’s chances of taking the White House become narrower.

Polls begin to close in North Carolina, as well. Barack Obama won the state by a narrow margin in 2008, though a strong rightward swing in the last four years means Romney has a large advantage.

7:30 p.m.: Polls close in Ohio – the most important swing state in the nation. This is a must-win for Mitt Romney. If he cannot take Ohio, with 18 electoral votes, he will have to win nearly every other swing state in the country. No Republican has ever won the presidency without Ohio. If Barack Obama loses Ohio, his chances of winning reelection become significantly smaller. Watch the Cincinnati metro area – which is perhaps the most important region of the state for determining the overall outcome. Barack Obama won Ohio by 5.4% in 2008.

It is important to note that Barack Obama is likely to take an early lead in Ohio as early voters are counted first. Polls show he leads among people who cast their ballots before Election Day.

The final voting precincts on the west coast won't even begin to be tallied until early Wednesday morning, but the election could be decided much earlier than that

The final voting precincts on the west coast won’t even begin to be tallied until early Wednesday morning, but the election could be decided much earlier than that

8:00 p.m.: Florida, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania close their polls.

Florida is another essential state for Mitt Romney, though it is less important to Obama’s strategy. With 29 electoral votes, Florida is the largest swing state in the country. Mitt Romney has a 1.5-point advantage, though both candidates have fought hard for it. However, don’t expect rapid results from the Sunshine state. Ballots in Florida are long and voting lines are expected to be even longer – meaning it could be hours before results are tabulated.

Pennsylvania, 20 electoral votes, is heavily leaning in Barack Obama’s favor, but Mitt Romney has fought hard to reduce the Democratic lead.

New Hampshire has just four electoral votes, but both candidates have visited multiple times. Barack Obama holds and edge in the polls, but Mitt Romney owns a house in the Granite State and was governor of neighboring Massachusetts.

9:00 p.m.: Wisconsin and Colorado polls close.

Colorado isn’t a big catch, with nine electoral votes, but it’s a major test of Barack Obama’s support among Hispanic voters. Both candidates have campaigned heavily here and Barack Obama has a narrow lead in recent polls.

A Mitt Romney win in Wisconsin would be hugely symbolic. With ten electoral votes, the state has not gone for a Republican since Ronald Reagan in 1984. However, Vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan hails from Wisconsin and the divisive Republican Gov Scott Walker recently survived a recall election. Polls show Barack Obama has a four-point lead in polls.

10:00 p.m.: Iowa and Nevada, the last of the swing states, close their polls.

Iowa has just six electoral votes, but it’s important to Barack Obama – it’s the state where his presidential campaign began in 2008. The president currently leads here, though it’s a traditionally white, working-class state with a largely rural electorate – all Mitt Romney’s strong points.

Nevada, also six electoral votes, is the westernmost swing state. Barack Obama leads here in polls, as well, though the economy has been badly battered by the housing crisis and unemployment is more than 11% – much higher than the rest of the nation.


Rivals Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are approaching the final day of their election battle in a frantic fight for swing state votes.

Each of them spent Sunday addressing crowds across the country, with Mitt Romney speaking in Pennsylvania, a state his aides insist he can now win on Tuesday.

Barack Obama held rallies in New Hampshire and Florida and carried on to Ohio and Colorado in the evening.

Analysts say the election will come down to a handful of swing states.

Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are running almost neck-and-neck in national polls, but polls of many key battlegrounds show Obama narrowly ahead.

However, neither camp is exuding absolute confidence.

The campaign has been most intense in Ohio, which no Republican has ever lost and still made it to the White House.

On Monday morning, Barack Obama is scheduled to appear in Madison, Wisconsin, accompanied by Bruce Springsteen, before going on to Iowa and Ohio.

Mitt Romney is due in Florida – where polls suggest he is ahead – in Virginia, New Hampshire and Ohio.

A final poll published on Sunday by Ohio’s Columbus Dispatch gave Barack Obama a 2% lead – 50% to 48% – over his rival, within the margin of error.

Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are approaching the final day of their election battle in a frantic fight for swing state votes

Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are approaching the final day of their election battle in a frantic fight for swing state votes

Both candidates visited the Buckeye State on Sunday, with Mitt Romney telling crowds in Cleveland that Barack Obama has failed in his pledge to be a “post-partisan” president and criticizing his record.

“He’s been divisive, blaming, attacking, dividing and – by the way – it’s not only Republicans that he refused to listen to, he also refused to listen to independent voices.”

Later on Sunday he spoke in Morrisville, Pennsylvania, his first visit there in the final stages of the campaign. Democrats say the Romney team’s last-minute decision to campaign in the state is a sign of desperation, but polls do show a tightening race.

“The people of America understand we’re taking back the White House because we’re going to win Pennsylvania,” Mitt Romney told the crowd in Morrisville.

Barack Obama made another appearance in Cincinnati, Ohio, where Stevie Wonder opened a huge evening rally.

Earlier in the day at a rally in Concord, New Hampshire, Barack Obama said: “We have come too far to turn back now.”

He said he would work across party lines to break the political gridlock in Washington, but would not compromise on priorities such as healthcare and college financial aid.

Activists have been stepping up efforts across the crucial swing states.

In Wisconsin, student volunteers have been putting in 14-hour days in an effort to deliver the state for Barack Obama.

An opinion poll on Sunday for ABC News and the Washington Post put the two candidates at 48%, with even voters who term themselves independents split evenly on 46%.

Mitt Romney remains favored among whites, seniors and evangelical Christians; Barack Obama among women, non-whites and young adults.

The president also remains slightly ahead in most of the nine-or-so swing states that will determine the election.

Opinion polls published on Saturday showed him well-placed in Iowa, Nevada and Ohio, but most remain within the polls’ own margins of error.

The election is run using an electoral college. Each state is given a number of votes based on its population. The candidate who wins 270 electoral college votes becomes president.

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