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When Will We Know the Winner? Key Toss-ups to Watch

While Americans exercise their right to vote, you can get prepared for the results. Sadly, we won't have Tim Russert to walk us through it all this year. Barack Obama supporters can start feeling relieved if their candidate wins either Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina, or Florida. Conversely, a magic combination of wins for John McCain could include Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Florida. Here are the states you should keep an eye on:

  • Indiana: The nation's first polls begin to close in typically red Indiana at 6 p.m. EST. If Obama wins the 11 electoral votes, things won't look good for McCain.
  • Virginia: McCain's most practical path to the White House includes Virginia and its 13 votes. Polls close at 7 p.m. EST.
  • Georgia: Things are close here, but we'll know who gets the 15 electoral votes sometime after polls close at 7 p.m. EST.
  • Florida: The notorious swing state might not be as essential as past years, but with 27 electoral votes it's a crucial prize.
  • Ohio: Polls close there at 7:30 p.m. EST. It should be a close battle, as usual, for the state's 20 votes!

For more states that could decide the race,


  • North Carolina: Officials have the option to keep the polls open until 8:30 p.m EST. The state hasn't gone blue since Jimmy Carter won it. There are 15 votes up for grabs.
  • Pennsylvania: Obama has had a lead here for a while, but McCain has campaigned hard. If McCain wins the 21 votes, and we'll know sometime after the polls close at 8 p.m. EST, he probably still has a good shot.
  • Missouri: Polls close at 8 p.m. EST. With Missouri's 11 votes, so goes the winner of the election, usually.
  • Colorado: Polls close at 9 p.m. EST. Colorado's nine votes seem to be leaning toward Obama, who made a big play for the previously red state.
  • Nevada: We'll have to wait until at least 10 p.m. EST to find out where the five votes go.


Mesayme Mesayme 8 years
Oh PLEASE South Carolina!!! Don't shame ME!! :D
Ginger Ginger 8 years
That's nice to see Tim's picture. I was thinking of him this morning, and how much he would have loved this election, and how much he will be missed tonight by millions. I'll have to watch NBC coverage tonight in remembrance :) Polls start closing on the East Coast in an hour. Exit polls are showing Kentucky looking red and Indiana blue. And I should head out for my free Ben & Jerry's scoop!
johnsonkm20 johnsonkm20 8 years
I miss Tim too. He was so enthusiastic!
Marni7 Marni7 8 years
C'mon PA!!!!!!!!!!!! I will be doing my part on behalf of OBAMA in PA tonite!!!!!!!!!!
loveyoulots loveyoulots 8 years
I'm in Indiana too and I'm so excited I can't wait to see if my vote and my state will help change Indiana and national history. This is my second time voting and it's a great feeling again! I miss TIm too.
bsglrok132 bsglrok132 8 years
Being in Indiana, I felt like my vote really counted. I think Obama will win it, but it'll be cloooose.
mswender mswender 8 years
I miss Tim Russert a lot and have thought about his coverage and how unbiased he always was. I will be working the polls till 8 and then i hope to get some good news!
momma-tikita momma-tikita 8 years
Im so anxious!
audreystar audreystar 8 years
Go Indiana! Woot Woot.
momma-tikita momma-tikita 8 years
I voted for the first time! I have a smile that hasnt left my face for hours! :) :woohoo:
stephley stephley 8 years
I was kind of happy to see Tim...
janneth janneth 8 years
Come on Missouri MO, show me!!!
sandy82 sandy82 8 years
I've been thinking about Tim a lot lately. I'm going to miss him during the election coverage tonight.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
I will too.
Kelliegrl Kelliegrl 8 years
I'll miss Tim's coverage tonight.
brielleblonde brielleblonde 8 years
im voting in virginia and never got my absentee ballot, and neither did any of my neighbors? conspiracy?! maybe. we are all college kids most likely going to vote for obama!
amybdk amybdk 8 years
Me too, Jude! Man.... I'm obnoxiously anxious today!
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
I think its in bad taste to use tims picture.
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
I'm glad all those are in Eastern time zones, so we can find out fairly early :)
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