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“I do think we will know before the end of the night,” said Mr. Kasich, who has been campaigning throughout his swing state for the Republican ticket.

“It’s going to be really close,” he said, but added, “I’m not sure the election is going to be as close as what everybody is talking about today.

“I honestly think Romney’s going to carry Ohio … I believe it’s going to happen.”

SENATE

Smith says coal-safety record a plus for his campaign

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Tom Smith, the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania who made a small fortune in the coal mining business, ran mines that routinely performed poorly on a federal statistic that measured workers’ days lost because of on-the-job injuries, federal mining safety records show.

His mines, both surface and underground, regularly scored above the industry average of nonfatal days lost to accidents or injuries, a statistic that is used as an industry safety benchmark but is not without criticism.

In two particular years, one of his mines reported the number of days lost to be more than 10 times the industry average, according to an Associated Press review of Mining Safety and Health Administration records.

But Mr. Smith contends the high number of days his workers missed is easily explained. He said the number was above average because he sent injured workers home to pursue rehabilitation rather than bringing them back for light duty, as some companies do.

Indeed, inspectors flagged his mines far less than other mines for the most serious possible violation, whether on a per-mine basis or per-ton of coal produced. His mines also never received a warning letter that tells an operator it has a persistent pattern of violations that are considered a serious safety hazard.

“We tried very, very hard to run as safe a business as we could,” he said, noting that he also employed two full-time emergency medical technicians on site, twice the legal requirement, and employed two safety directors.

From wire dispatches and staff reports