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Tuesday, 6 November 2012

LOOKS LIKE IT'S ALL GONE A MITT WRONG: Romney hopes hang by a thread after early counts show he FAILED in key swing states

By TOBY HARNDEN IN BOSTON, HUGO GYE and LYDIA WARREN
Confident? Mitt Romney takes the last flight of his presidential campaign on the way to his headquarters in Boston Barack Obama’s hopes of re-election have been given an early boost by exit polls that claimed he leads or is deadlocked with Mitt Romney in many swing states. The polls have the president leading in Ohio by three points, Florida by one point - and tying in Virginia and North Carolina, both must-wins for Mitt Romney. Obama was ahead in the exit polls by two points in New Hampshire, another swing state, and five points in Pennsylvania, which Romney contested fiercely towards the end of the campaign.
Saying goodbye? Barack Obama could be facing the end of his time as President if the night goes badly for him Exit polls are notoriously unreliable and in 2004 showed Senator John Kerry defeating President George W. Bush, who went on to win re-election. It appeared tonight that the exit polls would have to be inaccurate again for Romney to be victorious. A consistent error of just two or three points in the exit polls, however, would mean that Romney was very much still very much in the hunt.
Heading home: Romney leaves his final campaign event, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Last-minutes nerves: Romney jets off on his campaign plane alongside his aide Garrett Jackson With exit polls showing Obama’s approval rating over 50, the early signs were positive for the president’s re-election hopes. Exit polls on handling the deficit and the economy showed only narrow leads for Romney – a blow to his campaign’s hope of overwhelming Obama on those issues. CNN projected wins for Romney in Kentucky, Indiana, West Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Arkansas and Alabama, while Obama was projected to take Vermont, Illinois, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Delaware, Rhode Island, Maryland and the District of Columbia.
Contrast: Obama spent his last day of campaigning playing basketball with friends and campaign staff None of these results was considered a surprise - though Obama took Indiana by a slim margin in 2008 - and all of the swing states were declared too close to call immediately after polls closed there. Turnout seems to have been unusually high this year, with long queues at many polling stations as passionate voters were finally given the chance to express their views after what has been an especially bitter campaigning season. There were some complaints of voter suppression and intimidation, with polling stations staffed by partisan observers and sometimes festooned with posters supporting one side or the other.
Ready: Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan gesture to supporters and campaign workers in Richmond Heights, Ohio on Tuesday afternoon Romney spent election day in a frenetic final dash of campaigning in Ohio and in Pennsylvania while Obama took time out to play basketball in Chicago with aides and close friends. The first polls closed at 7pm EST - most significantly in Virginia, but also in Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, South Carolina and Vermont. At 7.30, two more swing states finished voting - North Carolina, which is believed to lean towards Romney, and Ohio, where many people predict the election will be won or lost. New Hampshire and Pennsylvania followed at 8, with Colorado and Wisconsin closing at 9 and Iowa and Nevada at 10.
Last efforts: Romney and Ryan grip workers' hands as they make an unscheduled stop at a Wendy's restaurant in Richmond Heights, Ohio By that point, nearly all of the crucial votes will have been cast and the course of the result should start to become clear, although the final polls in Alaska do not close until 1am EST on Wednesday. Political insiders are hoping that the identity of the next President is known and universally accepted on Wednesday morning - with the alternative, a protracted recount and legal battle similar to the 2000 election, being too awful for many to contemplate. In addition to the presidential election, control of the House of Representatives is up for grabs, as well as 33 Senate seats - though most observers expect the house to remain in Republican hands, while the Senate is predicted to stay Democratic.
Not your usual cuisine? Romney and Ryan look at the menu while ordering at the Wendy's restaurant Speaking to a radio station in Richmond, Virginia earlier in the day, Romney said: ‘I can’t imagine an election being won or lost by, let's say, a few hundred votes and you spent your day sitting around. 'I mean, you'd say to yourself, "Holy cow, why didn't I keep working?" And so I'm going to make sure I never have to look back with anything other than the greatest degree of satisfaction on this whole campaign.' Yet Romney seemed confident of his chances, predicting a 'very solid win tonight' as he spoke on MMAL radio in Washington. 'I’m going to win but I can't tell which state is going to be the one that puts me over the edge,' he said, adding that internal polls suggested he had solid support in Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan.
Staying positive: President Barack Obama calls volunteers in Wisconsin as he visits a campaign office in Chicago, Illinois, on election day He wrote a 1,118-word victory speech on Tuesday as he concluded his quest for the presidency claiming he had no regrets. 'I feel like we put it all on the field. We left nothing in the locker room. We fought to the very end, and I think that's why we'll be successful,' Romney told reporters aboard his plane as he flew from Pittsburgh to Boston. After a day playing basketball, Obama enjoyed dinner with his family in his hometown of Chicago, before a huge A-list party - intended to be a victory party - set to take place in the early hours of the morning. Controversy raged on the internet over a voting machine in Pennsylvania which appeared to reject votes for Obama. Some claimed dirty tricks on the part of the Republicans, but in fact the blunder appeared to be caused by a technical bug and the machine was soon taken out of service.
Hopeful: President Barack Obama hugs a volunteer during a visit to a campaign office in Chicago as people across the country cast their votes
Taking part: Voters queue up at Washington Mill Elementary School in Alexandria, Virginia
Ready: Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney prepares to cast his ballot at Beech Street Center in Belmont, Massachusetts
Stepping up: Mitt Romney, with his wife Ann at his side, casts his ballot for the U.S. presidential election in Belmont, Massachusetts on Tuesday
All smiles: President Obama speaks to the media and reveals he is 'confident' that he has enough votes to win the election
Thankful: The president hugs a volunteer during his visit to a campaign field office in Chicago, near to his South Side home
Support: Obama looks at a commemorative 'Obama shoe' that a campaign volunteer asked him to sign outside the office source: dailymail

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