President Barack Obama led his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, by fewer than 700 votes in Florida, but was nonetheless projected to win a second term.
The Sunshine State and its 29 electoral votes remained too close to call. Obama carried the state in 2008, while President George W. Bush won it in 2004, four years after he won a controversial U.S. Supreme Court ruling that halted a recount there.
The secretary of state reported Obama and Vice President Joe Biden had 3,923,894 votes or 49.8 percent to 3,886,210 or 49.3 for Romney and U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan. The vote count was still far from complete and counties with a lot of uncounted votes included both heavily Democratic Miami-Dade and Republican strongholds in the panhandle.
Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson had a healthy lead over his Republican challenger, U.S. Rep. Connie Mack IV. Nelson had 55.15 of the vote to 42.31 percent for Mack.
Mack's campaign and outside groups spent $22 million trying to elect him to the seat once held by his father, The Miami Herald reported. Nelson, seeking a third term, spent about $5 million less.
Long lines and confusion were reported in South Florida, the Herald said. State election officials said everyone in line when polls closed at 7 p.m. EST or an hour later in the western panhandle would be able to vote.
Nelson is the only Democrat currently holding statewide office in Florida. The state went for Obama in the 2008 presidential election but appeared in late polls to be a tossup or leaning to Romney.
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