x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Romney, Obama win first safe states, Virginia too close

Republican White House hopeful Mitt Romney picked up his first wins in two safe states today while president Barack Obama won Vermont as expected, US television networks reported.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney visits a campaign call centre in Green Tree, Pennsylvania. Final opinion polls published before polling began showed the two candidates in a dead heat nationwide.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney visits a campaign call centre in Green Tree, Pennsylvania. Final opinion polls published before polling began showed the two candidates in a dead heat nationwide.

Republican White House hopeful Mitt Romney picked up his first wins in two safe states today while president Barack Obama won Vermont as expected, US television networks reported.

Romney won in Indiana and Kentucky, two states traditionally in the Republican column, and Obama prevailed in left-leaning Vermont, according to projections from US networks as polls closed in six states.

Polls also closed in Georgia, South Carolina and Virginia, although officials allowed polling to continue where there were long lines.

Networks said Virginia – which Obama won when he was first elected in 2008 and which would be vital in almost any Romney victory strategy – was too close to call, based on early exit polls and a small number of reported results.

The final opinion polls published before polling began showed the two candidates in a dead heat nationwide, but gave Obama a slight advantage in the handful of swing states like Virginia that will decide the race.

Each state has a quota of electoral college votes based on its population, and the eventual victor will be the candidate who tallies the most.

Polling was due to end in Ohio, the most important of the swing states, at 7.30pm (0030 GMT), but reliable results were not expected for hours.