Election 2012: Voters Eye Florida, Ohio As Obama/Romney Race Gets Close

Romney gains foothold in Midwest, but remains neck-and-neck with Obama in several swing states.

As Election Night continued on, the race between President Obama and Governor Mitt Romney proved to be just as close as pundits expected, with races in several key swing states at a virtual tie.

At press time, Romney was in the lead with 158 electoral votes with Obama close behind with 147. The governor also held a majority of the popular vote at 51 percent, ahead of Obama’s 48 percent.

By 9 p.m., polls had closed in 13 more states, including the two swing states Colorado (9) and Wisconsin (10). Even though Romney gained a foothold with several Midwestern states, attention turned to these two battlegrounds, as well as Florida, Ohio, Virginia and New Hampshire.

Obama was the projected winner in Pennsylvania (20), Michigan (16), New York (29), Connecticut (seven), Vermont (3) Delaware (three), Illinois (20), Maryland (20), Romney’s home state of Massachusetts (11), Maine (four), New Jersey (14) and Rhode Island (four) and the District of Columbia (3).

Romney, meanwhile, was projected to take Alabama (nine), Arizona (11), Arkansas (6), Utah, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming, Kansas (6), West Virginia, Texas (38), Oklahoma (7), Louisiana (8), Georgia (16), South Carolina (9), Indiana (11), Kentucky (8) and West Virginia (5), Tennessee (11).

Both Florida (29 electoral votes) and and North Carolina (15) were considered to be in a dead heat, with both candidates at around 50 percent of the vote.

In the months leading up to Tuesday night, young voters had expressed a high interest in this election, especially as recent college graduates enter a workforce plagued by bleak employment rates. And judging by the numbers coming out of Election Night, they seemed to be showing up to the polls in large numbers. According to a CNN exit poll, voters between the ages of 18 and 29 accounted for 19 percent of the electorate. Fifty-nine percent of them voted for Obama, while 37 percent opted for Romney, according to the poll.

The battleground state of Wisconsin made history when it elected Tammy Baldwin, making her the first openly gay candidate to the Senate.

The Buckeye State, which many pundits had predicted would determine the entire election, was projected to go to Obama, who held 51 percent of the vote at press time, according to CNN.

MTV News correspondents James Montgomery and Andrew Jenks were in Romney and Obama’s headquarters, respectively, as both candidates waited out the results.

At Obama’s Election Night headquarters, young voter Sophia was overwhelmed by the electricity inside McCormick Place.

“It’s electric. It’s amazing,” she told MTV News. “I’m so excited to be here.”

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!