News Column

Obama, Romney Tied in First Returns

November 6.2012
Presidential debates

The tiny New Hampshire hamlet of Dixville-Notch reported the voting evenly split between President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney Tuesday.

The hamlet, which votes at midnight, reported five votes each for the president and his GOP challenger, the first time in the community's history presidential candidates have tied.

In 2004, Obama received 15 of the 21 votes cast.

In Hart's Location, N.H., whose population of 41 is nearly four times Dixville Notch's 12, Obama won with 23 votes, Romney received 9 and Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson got 1 vote.

Obama held a thin lead in swing-state polls on Election Day, and Mitt Romney planned to return to Pennsylvania and Ohio even as voters went to the polls.

A majority of voters said in a United Press International poll they thought the president would win the election Tuesday, even though UPI-CVoter voter preference polls indicated the two were in a dead heat, separated by 1 percentage point, less than the polls' margins of error.

A Washington Post-ABC News poll showed Obama at 50 percent to Republican presidential nominee Romney's 47 percent. That poll's 2.5-point error margin was almost the same as the 3-point preference separation.

Elsewhere, fresh polls showed the president up by small margins in battleground states Ohio, Virginia and New Hampshire.

Romney's campaign said the former Massachusetts governor and his wife, Ann, would head to the polls at 8:35 a.m. EST Tuesday in the Boston suburb of Belmont, where the Romneys live.

He then would campaign in Cleveland and Pittsburgh, campaign officials said.

Both Obama and wife, Michelle, voted early though they both were in Chicago before the balloting began.

Ohio is widely considered the most crucial battleground state this election, and Pennsylvania, which tends to lean Democratic, was tightening, recent polls indicated.

Romney's stops were not planned as rallies but rather as small "meet-and-greet" events, an adviser told CNN.

Romney planned to "keep working up until the polls close" to "keep the energy going," the adviser said, adding Romney intended to help and thank "get-out-the-vote" volunteers.

Presidential candidates typically set aside campaigning on Election Day, though some have made last-minute stops.

Obama finished his campaign Monday with rallies in Wisconsin, Ohio and Iowa.

His traveling aides talked confidently of the president's multiple paths to winning 270 electoral votes a second time, The Washington Post reported.

In Madison, Wis., Obama rallied a crowd of 18,000 at the state Capitol.

"If you're willing to work with me again, and knock on some doors with me, make some phone calls for me, turn out for me, we'll win Wisconsin," Obama said. "We'll win this election. We'll finish what we started."

Obama won more major newspaper endorsements than Romney, but the margin was narrower than he received against Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona in 2008.

Of the nation's 100 biggest newspapers, 41 endorsed Obama and 35 endorsed Romney, the American Presidency Project at University of California-Santa Barbara said.

In 2008, 65 of the Top 100 newspapers endorsed Obama and 25 endorsed McCain.

Source: Copyright United Press International 2012

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