It’s a wrap.

President Obama and Mitt Romney, after battling well into Election Day, wound  down their campaigns Tuesday afternoon, leaving it in the voters’ hands to  decide who will take to oath of office come January.

Polls will begin to close as early as 6 p.m., with results expected to  trickle in through midnight. The razor-thin margin between the candidates means  the campaigns could be in for a long night.

Election Day, though, was unexpectedly busy for the campaigns. While Obama  himself kept a low profile in Chicago, the campaign dispatched Vice President  Biden to Ohio where he visited a Cleveland restaurant and later posed for  pictures with volunteers before joining up with the president.

Romney, meanwhile, made stops in Ohio and Pennsylvania — two key swing  states — before heading back to campaign headquarters in Boston.

“This is a big day for big change,” Romney told a crowd of campaign  volunteers outside Cleveland.

The visits rounded out a grueling battle for the White House. For Obama, the  election is the last time his name will appear on a ballot, or so he claims. For  Romney, the vote marks the close of a nearly six-year run for the  presidency.

In an airtight contest, both candidates were expressing confidence as  millions of voters flocked to the polls. Obama visited a Chicago campaign field  office Tuesday morning, before playing his traditional election-day game of  pick-up basketball. “The great thing about these campaigns is after all the TV  ads and all the fundraising and all the debates and all the electioneering, it  comes down to this,” Obama said.

Voting kicked off overnight in two tiny villages in northern New Hampshire.  Obama and Romney each won five votes in the small town of Dixville Notch, which  was the first to announce its results after polls opened and closed within 43  seconds.

In Hart’s Location Obama won with 23 votes, Romney received 9 and Libertarian  Gary Johnson received 1 vote after 5 minutes, 42 seconds of voting. The towns  have enjoyed first-vote status since 1948.

Obama closed out his campaign with a late-night rally in Iowa on Monday. The  event was held in the same state where a 2008 caucus victory jump-started his  path to the White House.

The president was photographed with tears running down his face as he spoke  before a crowd of 20,000 supporters, telling them “this is where our movement  for change began.”

The president never mentioned Romney in his closing appeal, which sought to  draw on the hope and optimism of his first campaign.

Romney returned Monday night to the state where he launched his bid, telling  supporters in New Hampshire during his final campaign rally that he needs their  votes again.

“It’s all your votes and your work right here in New Hampshire that will help  me become the next president of the United States,” Romney told a thunderous  capacity crowd at the Verizon Wireless Arena, which holds about 10,000 people.  “We thank you and we ask you to stay in it all the way to the victory tomorrow  night.”

The final hours of the exhausting 2012 contest were played out at earlier  mega-rallies across a half-dozen states. Each candidate sought to close the deal  with voters promising “change,” while accusing the other of peddling an agenda  that would choke the country’s already meager economic recovery.

Romney, in Fairfax, Va., said Obama simply has not lived up to his  promises.

“Change can’t be measured in speeches, it’s measured in achievements,” Romney  said.

Obama, in Columbus, Ohio, claimed he’s been fighting against the “status quo”  and opponents who bet on “cynicism.”

“I’ve got a whole lot of fight left in me, and I hope you do, too,” the  president told the cheering crowd.

Ohio is arguably the hardest-fought contest of the race, with both candidates  visiting Monday and both pouring millions into that battleground. But with polls  giving Obama a slight edge in the Buckeye State, Romney’s campaign also has made  a late play for Pennsylvania — a win in Pennsylvania could allow the Republican  nominee to lose Ohio and still have a pathway to the 270 electoral votes it  takes to win.

The Obama campaign, though, dismissed Romney’s Election Day efforts as a  “Hail Mary.”

Voters across the country on Tuesday were casting ballots not just in the  presidential race, but a host of congressional races that will determine the  balance of power on Capitol Hill next year. Democrats currently control the  Senate by a narrow 53-47 margin.

It’s still an uphill climb for Republicans to take control — they have a  much easier shot at retaining control of the House.

Meanwhile, voters are deciding on an array of controversial measures at the  state level, including several that would partially legalize  marijuana.

In the presidential race, battleground polls show a mixed picture. While  Obama has the edge in Ohio, for example, Romney has the edge in the crucial  state of Florida. Nationally, the latest and final Gallup survey showed Romney  with 49 percent and Obama with 48 percent support.

By most estimates, Obama comes into Election Day with a slight advantage in  the electoral vote count. The RealClearPolitics electoral map shows the states  likely to vote for Obama are worth 201 electoral votes, while those likely to  vote for Romney are worth 191. It takes 270 to win.

The toss-ups include: Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New  Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin.

Source: Fox News


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