Battlegrounds: The 9 States to Watch


Tracking the presidential race's closest contests in real time

Battleground Map Final-615.jpg

The polls have closed, and the networks have called the race for President Obama. More detail below.

Virginia Battleground Icon-300.jpg

12:40 a.m. EST: The networks have now called the state for the president: 50 percent for Obama to 49 percent for Romney. 10:44 p.m. EST: Obama has closed Romney's lead a bit; they're at 49 percent and 50 percent, respectively, per Fox. ... 9:16 p.m. EST: Romney leads 54 percent to 45 percent, with 42 percent of precincts reporting, per CNN. Romney is up by about 138,000 votes. ... 8:39 p.m. EST: Voting in Virginia could continue until 11 p.m., per CNN. ... 8:34 p.m. EST: Romney continues to lead Obama here 56-42, says CNN, and he's holding onto gains over McCain's tally in 2008. 24% of the vote is in right now. ... 7:50 p.m. EST: Good news for Obama: CNN notes that in "battleground" Henrico County, VA, Obama's numbers so far are tracking very close to where they were in 2008. He won the county, and the state, for the first time of any Democrat since LBJ in 1964 ... 7 p.m. EST: With the first precincts reporting, Obama and Romney are tied at 49 percent to 49 percent ... 5:17 p.m. EST: The Virginia Times-Dispatch is reporting that Virginia may have seen higher turnout this year than in 2008, according to State Board of Elections Secretary Don Palmer. ... 5 p.m. EST: Virginia's 13 electoral votes went to Obama in 2008 by a comfortable six-point margin, but it's not clear whether he'll be able to pull off the trick again in a state that -- until his election -- hadn't gone to a Democrat in a presidential race since 1964. Polls close here at 7 p.m.

Florida Battleground Icon-300.jpg

12:40 EST: The state remains in play, now at 50 percent for Obama, 49 percent for Romney. 10:09 p.m. EST: A lot of Florida's most conservative counties have reported 100 percent of their votes now, and Obama still holds a narrow lead, with a 40,000 vote advantage over Romney, and 86 percent of the vote in. CNN notes that Romney is doing slightly better in the state than McCain did in 2008, but it looks like it may not be enough. ... 9:20 p.m. EST: CNN says 300 votes separate Obama and Romney in Florida, with 78 percent reporting. But heavily Democratic counties Broward and Miami-Dade have had very few precincts report so far, and that will favor Obama's total. ... 9:13 p.m. EST: A 50-50 split right now. Romney leads by less than 1,500 votes. ... 8:46 p.m. EST: Obama is up 51 to 49 in Florida, with nearly 59 percent of the vote in, but a lot of critical counties have yet to fully report. The president is close to matching his 2008 tallies in the state's major population centers. ... 8:09 p.m.Obama's holding the lead 51 percent to 49 percent, with 42 percent of the vote in ... 7:45 p.m. EST: With 28 percent of the vote counted, Obama is holding the lead with 51 percent of the vote to Romney's 48 percent ... 7:36 p.m. EST: In Palm Beach County, the very earliest results have Obama ahead 66 percent to 34 percent, better than he did in 2008 by several points ... 7:11 p.m. EST: With 4 percent of the vote in, 55 percent of votes are for Obama and 45 percent for Romney. Still very early in the night there, given the long lines ... 5 p.m. EST: Florida is the biggest prize of all of the swing states, offering its winner 29 electoral votes. The outcome may heavily depend on turnout in Miami. Beware of the time: polls close in much of the state at 7 p.m., but voting in the state's panhandle doesn't conclude until 8 p.m. Back in 2000, news outlets infamously called the state before many voters had finished casting their ballots.


North Carolina Battleground Icon.jpg

12:40 EST: With 98 percent of precincts reporting, the state has been called for Romney. The challenger has garnered 51 percent, while the president garnered 48. 9:59 p.m. EST: With 81 percent of the vote in, Romney is up 51 percent to Obama's 48 percent, with a solid lead of over 100,000. ... 8:29 p.m. EST: Romney is holding North Carolina with a slim margin right now. MSNBC says that, with 36 percent of precincts reporting, he leads by a bit less than 50,000 votes. ... 7:32 p.m. EST: Polls are closed. Early results show a 49 percent to 49 percent split ... 5 p.m. EST: Obama won North Carolina and its 15 electoral votes in 2008 by a margin of just 0.4 percent. Polls close here at 7:30 p.m.


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Brian Fung is the technology writer at National Journal. He was previously an associate editor at The Atlantic and has written for Foreign Policy and The Washington Post.

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