On what most pundits were predicting was going to be a long night of vote-counting, early results had President Obama and challenger Mitt Romney running neck-and-neck.
With polls closed in 27 states at press time, Obama was slightly behind in the electoral vote count, with 64 to Romney's 74 electoral votes, based on projections. Even if the president ends up passing Romney on the way to the required 270, CNN reported that some Obama insiders were concerned that the president could win the electoral race and lose the popular vote, which would make governing with a divided Congress a challenge. With two percent of the popular vote in nationwide at press time, Romney held a slim 51 percent to 48 percent lead.
Exit polls in one the most crucial states, Florida (which promises 29 electoral votes), had the men in a virtual tie, with the winner of that state expected to likely forge a path to the White House.
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According to CNN, Obama was projected to win a number of the states where polls had closed by 8 p.m. ET, among them: Connecticut (7), Vice President Joe Biden's home state, Delaware (3), Washington, D.C. (3), Obama's home state of Illinois (20), Maryland (20), Romney's home state, Massachusetts (11), Maine (3 of 4) and Rhode Island (4).
Romney was projected to win Oklahoma (7), Georgia (16), South Carolina (9), Indiana (11), Kentucky (8) and West Virginia (5).
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With polls closing at 9 p.m. ET in key swing states Colorado (9) and Wisconsin (10), the face of the race could change all over again within the next few hours.
In the meantime, the candidate's supporters were gathered in
Chicago (Obama) and Boston (Romney), keeping an eye on the vote tallies as they rolled in ... and hoping that they had something to celebrate at the end of the night.
Stick with MTV News all Election Night for results, analysis and reports from Chicago, Boston and New York until a winner is declared. Share your voting stories by tweeting @MTVNews with the hashtags #GoVote or #IVoted!