POLLS CLOSED IN 25 STATES: Obama has taken a lead in electoral votes, 57 to Romney's 40.
Maine is one of two states -- Nebraska is the other -- that award votes by Congressional District. The Romney campaign has been targeting the 2nd congressional district for one of its four electoral votes.
UPDATE: In Maine, Independent former governor Angus King has won the senate seat over Democrat Cynthia Dill and Republican Charlie Summers, according to the AP. King hasn’t said yet whether he’ll caucus with the Democrats or be unaffiliated.
CNN says Angus King, running as an Independent, will replace retiring GOP US Sen. Olympia Snowe.
Analysts are closely watching Pennsylvania. In the past two weeks, Republicans have campaigned heavily there. From the Wall Street Journal: “Any sign of weak turnout for Mr. Obama in Philadelphia and its suburbs, or a Romney surge in the more rural states, could spell trouble in a state no Republican has carried since 1988.”
UPDATE: Obama has won New Jersey, according to Fox and CBS.
Polls close in Arkansas at 8:30 p.m. ET. Arkansas has six electoral votes.
@GlobeAndrewRyan is out in Southie and reporting that 300 people remained in line when the polls closed at 8 p.m. Similar reports coming out of Dorchester. Massachusetts voting rules dictate that anyone in line when the polls close is allowed to stay and vote, no matter how long it takes. That could mean it will be awhile before we get complete results.
From the AP: “In Florida, hundreds of people remained in line waiting to cast ballots at some locations even as polls closed. Under state law, anyone already in line when the polls closed will be permitted to vote. Shortly before polls closed in Virginia, meanwhile, the Obama campaign sent out text messages saying that volunteers were needed "right now" to make sure that everyone who was still in line as polls closed got to vote.”
David Brooks: The exit-poll results and turnout figures seem to tilt in favor of President Obama. “If Romney is going to overcome that Democrat registration advantage, he’s got to do better than expected among independents.”
8:45 P.M. SUMMARY:
Obama has won 8 states: Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, and Illinois for 64 electoral votes, and is leading in 3: New Hampshire, Ohio, and Florida.
Romney has won 7 states: Indiana, Kentucky, West Virginia, Tennessee, South Carolina, Georgia, and Oklahoma for 67 electoral votes, and is leading in 3: Virginia, North Carolina, and Texas.
Bob Casey is returning for a second term in Pennsylvania. In New York, Kirsten Gillibrand is also returning for her second term. In Michigan, the Senate race goes to Debbie Stabenow. In Texas, Ted Cruz will replace Kay Bailey Hutchison.
New York -- Polls closed at 9 p.m. in New York City. People reported broken scanning machines as late as 8 p.m., where poll workers resorted to "smacking them" in an attempt to move people through by the closing of polls. Though Barack Obama clearly had a lock on New York state's electoral votes, there were local elections of importance as well. It seems New York City's Board of Elections will face much criticism in the coming week.
SANDPOINT, Idaho -- An Associated Press story says voting in this North Idaho town went off without a hitch despite a bomb threat called in to the courthouse the day before. It stalled some poll-worker training, but police say it had nothing to do with the election -- they say a 45-year-old woman called it in to delay sentencing on a felony drug charge. How do they know? She mis-dialed and called an assisted living center. The center called the cops.
UPDATE: Fox and MSNBC have called Wisconsin for President Obama.
Wisconsin has a tradition of being closely matched between Democrats and Republicans and boasts the most counties of any state that voted for George W. Bush in 2004, and then swapped to President Obama in 2008.
DENVER -- The Democratic celebration is slowly filling up in the ballrooms of the downtown Sheraton. With CNN streaming on big screens, the room is increasingly filled with cheers supporters welcome every indication of good news for the president. Nearly half of the vote is accounted for, showing Mr. Obama ahead 51-47%.