All eyes are on Ohio, Virginia, and Florida, key battleground states that could decide the race between President Obama and Mitt Romney. The three states are still too close to call, with CNN projecting a 50-50 tie in Florida with 76 percent of the vote counted; a solid lead of 53-45 for Romney in Virginia with 41 percent of the vote counted; and a 55-40 Obama lead in Ohio with 30 percent of the vote counted. (Obama is projected to win Pennsylvania, a blue state that Romney visited in the final days of the race, but has long been considered out of reach for the GOP candidate.)
There are some early signs that Obama is putting in a strong performance in Florida, while Romney is doing better than expected in northern Virginia. The Sunshine State, with 29 electoral votes, is a must-win for Romney, and an Obama victory there would be a virtual checkmate to seal victory.
Obama can lose Florida without breaking a sweat. Romney needs it badly. CNN has it 50-50% with 6 million votes in.
— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) November 7, 2012
Virginia is going to be very tight, with an edge for Romney; Florida is going to be tight, with edge for Obama.
— Marc Ambinder (@marcambinder) November 7, 2012
Wow, Florida might actually go for Obama. He’s still keep up his ’08 margins in Miami Dade, Palm Beach, and Broward. It’s over if he wins it
— Jamelle Bouie (@jbouie) November 7, 2012
— Dick Morris (@DickMorrisTweet) November 7, 2012
In general, exit polls and early results show a general alignment with pre-election state polls, which is considered good news for Obama, who was shown as the favorite in Ohio, a state that could make or break his re-election:
So far the election is playing out exactly as the polling averages suggested. #secretsauce
— Matt Yglesias (@mattyglesias) November 7, 2012
Chuck Todd says Obama is meeting his targets with the demographic makeup of the electorate...
— Noam Scheiber (@noamscheiber) November 7, 2012
However, it can't be stressed enough that the races in all three of these states are too early too call. And there is a good chance that results from Florida and Ohio could be legally challenged in the coming days.