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TRR: Live-tracking key counties in VA, OH, PA and NH

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Update 12:25 am — Looks like OH is settling back into Obama territory. Romney still maintaining a popular vote lead but only 14% of CA has reported yet so that will cut into his margin.

I’m happy that tomorrow’s editorial “One Nation Divisible” jumped up to #2 on the TWT Top 10 list very quickly. Also pleased this live blog stayed on the top 10 list for 3 hours, thanks everyone. A sad night for the GOP but to quote Ronald Reagan, “Let us be sure that those who come after will say of us in our time, that in our time we did everything that could be done. We finished the race; we kept them free; we kept the faith.” 

Update 11:59 pm — Now with 82.2% of OH precincts reporting Romney is up .4%, a 20,000 vote lead. Go figure.

Update 11:49 pm — And by the way with 80.3% of OH precincts reporting the Obama margin is .1%, just 1,500 votes. 

Update 11:45 pm — OK so Obama is a lame duck from day 1 with no mandate and a divided Congress. Good thing he never had a plan to promote because it wouldn’t go anywhere if he had.

Update 11:39 pm — The dispute between Karl Rove and the FNC decision desk is fun to watch. Rove is right that OH has closed a lot. But while they are debating that VA is slipping away.

Update 11:33 pm — Wow imagine if the networks had to back off their projected Obama victory because of the too close to call states. Probably they shouldn’t have said anything. Just like 2000 and the FL projection. 

Update 11:27 pm — Funny thing, 25% of OH precincts still to report and Obama’s lead has narrowed from 2.1% to .7% just in the last 9% precincts reporting. So OH may still be up in the air. Interesting. 

Update 11:14 pm — FNC calls OH and the election for Obama. Probably because it trended back a tick statewide. Also Romney is down by 4,000 votes in VA and that trend shows no sign of reversing.

Update 11:11 pm — Good news from Hamilton Co. OH. Romney now has won the day-of voting by 55/44, and he is up .5% in the county. If he wins it, he may win the state. But the trending is extremely close. Also Britt Hume says Romney is winning independent voters, and as I contended earlier, if he does that he will win the popular vote at least.

Update 11:06 pm — OH is moving the right way but slowly. VA is moving the wrong way and is down to a fractional Romney lead. OH closed a full percent over the last 17% of precincts. 33% to go, and Romney 2.1% down. At that rate OH is anyone’s guess.

Update 10:55 pm — The VA Romney margin is down to 13,000 votes and half a percent. Numbers like that make me wonder what the impact of the suppressed military vote is. If the races in FL, VA and OH are really close, then it may turn out to have been critical. A future editorial topic.

Update 10:38 pm — Well case in point to my last comment, with 33% in for Hamilton Co. Romney now leads on the day of election 50.75 to 47.49. Still behind overall by about 7 but that was the first good news in this county yet.

Update 10:35 pm — Here is some detailed info from Hamilton Co. OH. With 30% reporting, Obama leads 55/44. Obama won the early vote 57/42, and is winning the election day race 53/46. That is equal to his numbers in 2008, so right now Obama is ahead of where he was. Maybe the suburbs will come to the rescue, a lot can happen as the next 70% of vote comes in.

Update 10:27 pm — Romney’s lead in VA is now down to 1.3% and Obama’s Loudon Co. lead is 4.5% with 95% reporting.

Update 10:25 pm — Karl Rove says the early vote in OH favors Dems and the totals will close. Maybe. But generally the Obama losses are about half his margin from 2008. He is staying positive but the margin is not closing fast enough. Again, hope I’m wrong.

Update 10:17 pm — Folks I hate to say it but I think it’s over. Always a chance it isn’t but OH will have to improve markedly. I keep waiting for good numbers from Hamilton Co. because it could change things, also my home town is there so I’m interested to see how it goes. In 1976 if Hamilton County had voted for Ford instead of Carter it could have shifted the state for him. Anyway hope I’m wrong.

Update 10:05 pm — Generally the shift in OH is not enough county by county for Romney to win. When the big counties begin to report this may change, but no particular reason to believe it will.

Update 9:56 pm — Bad news in OH for Romney. Sandusky Co. with 100% reporting shows Obama ahead 49.8 to 47.9. This is half the lead Obama had in 2008 but not enough to swing the race to the GOP.

Update 9:52 pm — It’s funny how many different numbers there are out there. Google, Huffpo, FNC, all show different things, based on % precincts reporting. But I was looking at the official VA site and they had fewer reporting than Fox News. How does that work? More to the point, FNC has Romney behind in VA while the official site has him up by 3 points 50.6 to 47.7. Yet Obama’s lead in Loudoun Co. is still solid at 4.5 points with almost 92% reporting.

Update 9:41 pm — Erie Co. OH has 100% vote reporting and Obama is only 1.8% off his 2008 total. Bad news for Romney.

Update 9:38 pm — Romney is running 5.5 points behind in Loudoun Co, VA with 86% reporting, yet statewide is 3.5 points up with 71% reporting. But his statewide lead has closed a bit, so VA is really too close to call.

Update 9:34 pm — Interesting thing to note on PA, in the counties Romney is winning he is improving on McCains’ 2008 totals, and the Obama counties are above his 2008 margins. Seems like that state has become polarized. Must be the “bitter clingers.”

Update 9:28 pm — With 76% of votes in Obama leads in Loudoun Co VA by 51/47. Yet Romney still leads statewide by almost 9 points with half the votes counted.

Update 9:26 pm — Just to note the Logan Co. OH problem was fixed. Romney at 60.7% with 25% reporting, behind McCain’s 63%. Fox News just called WI for Obama so if that’s true Ohio really is going to decide this race.

Update 9:18 pm — Carroll Co. NH with 11% reporting has Romney up 59.4/39.8. That will probably close up but Obama won this with 53% in 2008.

Update 9:14 pm — Warren Co. PA with 100% reporting shows 57/41 for Romney, a 10 point swing, with Obama down 5% and the GOP up 5%. But Fox News just called PA for Obama so whatever!

Update 9:09 pm — With 63.5% reporting in Loudoun Co. Obama leads 50.7/47.8. Yet Romney has a 10 point lead overall in the state, which is good news for the GOP.

Update 9:02 pm —Strange thing in Logan Co. OH — it reportedly has 100% votes reporting but only a total of around 6,200 voters when it had 21,000 voters in 2008. This is 60%+ Romney country so if those votes are missing the GOP better find them.

Update 9:00 pm — Just to note that in 1980 NBC News called the race for Reagan at 8:15 pm eastern.

Update 8:59 pm — With almost half the votes counted in Loudoun C. VA Obama retains the lead 49.7 to 48.8. Romney holds the lead in the state overall but if this county is indicative VA is going to be close. However above average turnout in south and west VA may be the crucial margin for Mitt.

Update 8:47 pm — Obama back in the lead in Loudoun Co. VA 50% to 48.5% with 41% reporting. Still waiting for details on the other counties I want to track. 

Update 8:37 pm — With 30.5% of Loudoun Co. VA reporting Mitt Romney is surging and now leads 49.5% to 49%.

Update 8:27 pm — The three OH counties are all doing well for Obama but with only fractional reports. In Loudoun Co. VA with almost 19% in, Obama retains a strong lead.

Update 8:18 pm —First look at Loudoun County VA shows Obama with a strong lead, 54.6 to 43.9. Only 13% of precincts are reporting, but if that trend continues it will be a short night for Mitt Romney. 

 

I am prepping to do some county-watching, hopefully to get some advance insights into how the presidential race is going. The counties I will be watching are Loudoun in Virginia; Hamilton, Sandusky and Montgomery in Ohio; Centre, Northampton and Lehigh in Pennsylvania; and Carroll in New Hampshire. I chose these because they closely reflected the results in the states as a whole in 2008 and for the most part also in 2004.

The 2008 results — expressed as votes (%) for McCain/Obama — were:

 

Virginia statewide:      1,726,053 (46.4%)      1,958,370 (52.7%)

Loudoun county:             63,328 (46%)              74,607 (54%)

 

Ohio statewide:       2,501,855 (47.2%)      2,708,685 (51.2%)

Sandusky county:        13,935 (47%)              15,101 (51%)

Hamilton county:        187,862 (47%)            208,802 (52%)

Montgomery county:   123,040 (47%)            136,110 (52%)

 

Pennsylvania statewide:     2,586,496 (44.3%)      3,192,316 (54.7%)

Centre county:                       32,543 (44%)              41,141 (55%)

Northampton county:              58,352 (43%)                74,956 (55%)

Lehigh county:                       62,668 (42%)              86,226 (57%)

 

New Hampshire statewide:     316,937 (44.8%)         384,591 (54.3%)

Carroll county:                       13,354 (46%)              15,204 (53%)

 

The Google election map is a useful resource for tracking results. See also the official state election pages in Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire.

The results in past bellwether counties such as these may or may not reflect the outcome of the 2012 race, but tracking them makes watching the returns more fun. I will be posting updates are the night progresses.

Let the games begin!

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About the Author

James S. Robbins

James S. Robbins, Ph.D., former Senior Editorial Writer for Foreign Affairs, was formerly professor of international relations at the National Defense University, associate professor of international relations at the U.S. Marine Corps Command and Staff College and special assistant in the Office of the Secretary of Defense under Donald Rumsfeld. Dr. Robbins is author of the recently released "This Time ...

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