With the polls officially closed in Georgia, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia and most of Indiana and Kentucky, CNN has already projected preliminary wins for the two major-party presidential candidates.
Senator Barack Obama, the Democratic Party's nominee, will take Vermont and its three electoral votes. CNN reports that exit polls show Obama leading Republican presidential hopeful Senator John McCain 57 percent to 36 percent. Meanwhile, McCain is projected to win in Kentucky, where exit polls indicate he's leading Obama 51 percent to 42 percent. Kentucky has eight electoral votes at stake.
The polls in North Carolina, Ohio and West Virginia were expected to close at 7:30 p.m. ET, with those in Alabama; Connecticut; Delaware; Washington, D.C.; Illinois; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; most of Michigan; Mississippi; Missouri; New Hampshire; New Jersey; Oklahoma; Pennsylvania; Tennessee; and most of Texas closing at 8 p.m.
Meanwhile, CNN is reporting that 62 percent of exit-poll respondents said the country's current and future financial woes were the chief reason they waited in long lines for their shot behind the curtain. Nationwide, 10 percent of respondents pointed to the war in Iraq as their most important issue, and of those voters, 36 percent pulled the lever for McCain.
Meanwhile, 9 percent of voters said the threat of terrorism was the top issue in this year's election, 86 percent of whom supported McCain's candidacy. Health care was another inspiring issue for voters, with 9 percent saying it was the top issue weighing on their minds.
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