EDITOR'S NOTE: Scoop will be providing
running newsflashes of breaking news from the US elections
today. To kick the day off we have some leaked exit poll
results which come via http://democraticunderground.com via
http://dailykos.com via http://slate.com (all of which will
be good sources of news this afternoon.) For the latest
Scoops on the US Elections see... http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/index.html#sow
NEWSFLASH: First Exit Poll Results Favour Kerry
BUSH IS WINNING IN...
Kerry 48 Bush 50
Kerry 46 Bush 53
Kerry 49 Bush 51
IS WINNING IN...
Kerry 54 Bush 45
Kerry 50 Bush 49
Kerry 50 Bush 49
Kerry 51 Bush 47
Kerry 50 Bush 48
Kerry 51 Bush 46
At first blush - if these results prove accurate - then Kerry will have won the election carrying both Ohio and Florida by a nose and Pennsylvannia, New Mexico, Wisconsin and Michigan relatively comfortably.
However with Florida and Ohio both separated by only one point (and noting that in exit polls in 2000 Gore won Florida by three points) nothing will be certain for some time yet.
Florida has 27 electoral college votes and Ohio 20 electoral college votes. In order to win a candidate needs to win at least 270 votes. (For further information on the electoral college system see...http://www.electoral-vote.com)
While polling places officially close in some Eastern states at approximately 1pm NZ Time, in several states all those queing as of that time will still be allowed to vote. And with two, three and four hour queues reported in some states it is probable that voting will not be completed in some parts of the Eastern United States (and particularly in democratic leaning counties in Ohio and Florida) till as late as 10pm or 11pm.
Therefore, unless Kerry wins an early lead in sufficient states to make Ohio and Florida irrelevant, there is likely to be a very long night of counting ahead.