Recap: National Election Updates

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Recap of The Augusta Chronicle's live coverage of the national campaign returns.

11:54: Georgians approved a constitutional amendment that would allow a new state board to issue charters for private operators to run independent public schools.

11:48: Democrats held their narrow majority in the Senate on Tuesday, the Associated Press says, grabbing GOP seats in Massachusetts and Indiana and turning aside Republican challenges in Virginia and Ohio. Republicans were well on the way to retaining control of the House, ensuring that Congress will be divided.

11:25: CBS, ABC and Fox News also calling the race for Obama.

11:15: Fox News also calling Ohio for Obama.

11:15: NBC declares Obama has won Ohio and re-election.

11:11: Miami-Dade elections officials saying they still have 18,000 absentee ballots to count and that they'll be finished "sometime tomorrow."

11:04: Obama takes California, Washington state, Hawaii and Minnesota. Romney wins Idaho. Obama 229, Romney 190.

10:58: The AP calls North Carolina for Romney. Romney 186, Obama 148. In the Virginia Senate race, Republican George Allen has conceded to Democrat Tim Kaine.

10:52: North Carolina's up to 95% reporting. Romney holds a lead of about 80,000 votes.

10:49: Romney grabs the fifth electoral vote in Nebraska. Romney 171, Obama 148.

10:42: Romney gets Arizona. Romney 170, Obama 148.

10:33: As we wait for the major states, Obama just picked up the fourth electoral vote in Maine. Romney 159, Obama 148.

10:13: CBS and NBC project Democrat Claire McCaskill has held her Missouri Senate seat against Republican Todd Akin, who drew a firestorm for his comments about "legitimate rape."

10:09: Obama takes the little but hard-fought prize of New Hampshire. Romney 159, Obama 147.

10:04: Romney takes Utah. Romney 159, Obama 143.

9:51: The Associated Press puts Pennsylvania in Obama's column. Romney 153, Obama 143.

9:46: NBC and CBS project Democrat Elizabeth Warren will unseat Republican Scott Brown in Massachusetts. NBC also projects another Democratic pickup in Indiana, with Joe Donnelly defeating Republican Richard Mourdock, who made controversial comments about rape and pregnancy in the closing weeks of the race.

9:41: The state of the battleground states: Virginia: Romney 54%, Obama 44% (39% reporting); Florida: Obama 50%, Romney 49% (44% reporting); North Carolina: Romney 50%, Obama 49% (30% reporting); Ohio: Obama 57%, Romney 42% (4% reporting)

9:31: Some outlets are calling Pennsylvania and Wisconsin for Obama.

9:30: Two more wins for Democrats in the Senate. Bob Casey wins re-election in Pennsylvania, and Sherrod Brown wins in Ohio.

9:27: Again, the AP is holding off on fully calling a state that splits its electoral votes - this time, Nebraska. So we'll dial back our scoreboard to Romney 153, Obama 123.

9:25: Romney picks up Mississippi and Arkansas; Obama takes New Jersey. Romney 154, Obama 123.

9:10: Obama takes New York and Michigan; Romney wins Nebraska, Wyoming, Kansas, Louisiana, South Dakota, North Dakota and Texas. Romney 142, Obama 109.

8:56: Another batch of states set to close at 9. Most important are Colorado and Wisconsin.

8:53: Alabama goes in Romney's column. Romney 76, Obama 64.

8:47: The latest on Florida: The Miami-Dade elections department reports that only 40 percent of precincts have closed because of long lines of voters.

8:41: CBS News reports that Virginia election officials have stopped reporting results because voters are still lined up.

8:37: There are reports of voting still going on in Virginia and Florida because of long lines.

8:33: Democrat Chris Murphy is project as the winner of Connecticut's Senate race against former wrestling executive Linda McMahon. AP calls Georgia for Romney. Romney 67, Obama 64.

8:27: Tennessee goes to Romney. Obama 64, Romney 51

8:20: The Associated Press notes that it's only calling 3 of Maine's 4 electoral votes for Obama, so we'll dial back our scoreboard to Obama 64, Romney 40.

8:13: In the battle for the Senate, independent Angus King has won Maine's race for the seat held by retiring Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe. Democrat Bill Nelson won re-election in Florida.

8:07: No calls in Pennsylvania, Florida or New Hampshire.

8:05: A lot of calls coming in: Obama takes Illinois, Connecticut, Maine, the District of Columbia, Delaware, Rhode Island, Maryland and Massachusetts. Romney takes Oklahoma. Obama 65, Romney 40.

8:00: Indiana is also called for Romney. Romney 33, Obama 3.

7:58: South Carolina goes in Romney's column. Romney 22, Obama 3.

7:56: No calls yet in the Virginia Senate race, where Republican George Allen leads Democrat Timothy Kaine 59-41.

7:55: Many states set to close at 8. Biggest among them is Florida, where Obama has a lead of around 140,000 votes with 5 percent of precincts in.

7:32: Polls have closed in North Carolina and Ohio. Romney takes West Virginia. Romney 13, Obama 3.

7:25: It's early, but it's a close one for U.S. Senate in Indiana. With 6 percent of precincts reporting, Republican Richard Mourdock and Democrat Joe Donnelly are knotted at 47 percent each.

7:08: No calls yet for South Carolina and Georgia could be because exit polling has been reduced. At least, that's the reason NBC is giving.

7:04: The Associated Press calls Kentucky for Romney and Vermont for Obama. That starts the electoral scored at Romney 8, Obama 3.

6:54: Things will start heating up at 7 as polls close in Georgia, South Carolina and the presidential battleground of Virginia. Some polls will also close in Florida and New Hampshire.

6:27: Mitt Romney says he has written a 1,118-word victory speech and has no regrets about his campaign. "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," he told reporters on his way to Boston.

6:08: Election officials in Virginia say statewide turnout will likely meet or exceed numbers from 2008.

6:02: The first polls of the night have closed in parts of Indiana and Kentucky. Those in the Central Time Zone will stay open until 7 p.m. Eastern.

5:53: President Obama played his usual Election Day basketball game with former Chicago Bulls star Scottie Pippen.

Also on Obama and Pippen's team was Alexi Giannoulias, a former Illinois state treasurer and 2010 Democratic U.S. Senate nominee.

Giannoulias told The Associated Press that Obama's team won by "like 20," with a score of "like 102, 105, 108 or so to 80-something."

On the other team were childhood friends Mike Ramos and Marty Nesbitt, and Education Secretary Arne Duncan, a former captain of Harvard's basketball team.

5:23: Welcome to The Augusta Chronicle's live coverage of the national campaign returns. The first polls close in Indiana and Kentucky at 6 p.m. In the meantime, here's some of the major things to watch early on tonight:

Virginia: At 7 p.m., this will be the first battleground state to have all its polls
close. How quickly a winner is called could point to how long a night it will be.

Ohio: The Buckeye State has only 18 Electoral College votes but is the most important battleground state. Polls close at 7:30, but history shows it could be a while before the state is put in a candidate's column. If the margin is razor thin, the state won't start counting provisional ballots - those from voters who couldn't be verified on Election Day - until Nov. 17.

Florida: The biggest battleground prize with 29 electoral votes. Most of the state's polls close at 7, but some on the Panhandle go until 8.

Other states to watch: North Carolina (7:30 p.m.), New Hampshire (8), Pennsylvania (8), Wisconsin (9), Colorado (9), Nevada (10), Iowa (10)

Congress: Democrats hold a 53-47 edge in the Senate. Indiana, Virginia and Massachusetts are key races to watch early on. As for the House, Democrats have a steep road if they hope to gain a majority.

Ballot issues: Maine, Maryland and Washington could be the first states to legalize gay marriage by a popular vote. Marijuana legalization is on the ballot in Washington state, Colorado and Oregon, and medical marijuana is up for a vote in Arkansas and Massachusetts.


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