NEWSFLASH: Florida Remains The Key
With midnight approaching on the East Coast of the US, the US Presidential Race remains too close to call according to CNN on the basis of exit poll analysis.
Six states have not yet had results declared by CNN with Arizona the last state to be declared to Texas Governor George Bush. Of these Florida – with 25 electoral votes – is the prize state and whoever wins Florida appears likely to win the election.
As of 5.40pm NZT Governor George Bush had 237 electoral votes to Vice President Al Gore’s 231.
Governor Bush can win without winning Florida but will need to win almost all the remaining states including Washington and Oregon, both of which were earlier thought likely to fall in the Gore camp.
Other key states remaining undeclared include Iowa and Wisconsin, states which were always expected to play a key role in the election.
In order to be elected a Presidential Candidate needs to win 270 votes in the electoral college.
The possibility of a 269 to 269 tie is being seriously considered by pundits at this late stage in the counting process, in which case the decision on who will be the next President of the US could well end up being decided on the floor of the House of Congress next January.