The results of the first hour of poll closings have the very real potential of shaping the outcome of the presidential race. Among the nine states closing between 7 and 8 p.m. are four very competitive and key states: Indiana (11 electoral votes), North Carolina (15), Ohio (20) and Virginia (13).
Indiana, North Carolina and Virginia are traditionally Republican strongholds but have shown signs of going in Sen. Barack Obama’s favor. Ohio has backed the presidential election winner in each of the past 11 elections. All four of these states backed President Bush in 2004, and if Sen. John McCain stands any chance of winning the White House, he will need to score wins in some of these states.
The other states closing at 7 p.m. are Georgia (15 electoral votes), Kentucky (8) and South Carolina (8), which are solidly Republican, and Vermont (3), which is solidly Democratic. West Virginia (5), which has been heavily leaning Republican in the latest polls, closes at 7:30 p.m.