Just after 7 p.m. ET, Fox News and ABC News are calling Indiana (which went for Sen. John McCain in 2008) and Kentucky for Mitt Romney. Vermont is called for President Obama. So it’s not 2008, but it’s not clear whether this race is more like 2004 or 2010.
Exit polling has been so discredited as to diminish interest, even for journalists desperate for news. If it’s really a close race then the exits polls are uniquely ill-equipped (as we saw in 2004) to call states accurately.
In the Romney camp, at the RNC and among Republican gubernatorial staffers in key states, I hear several things. Iowa, Colorado and Florida are looking strong for Republicans based on turnout in Republican counties vs. turnout in Democratic counties.
Ohio: Just about everyone I speak to on the Romney side (inside and outside the campaign) says it is close, but, again express optimism, based on early and absentee voting.
Virginia: Turnout is huge. One Republican official tells me, “Romney performing strong in key Richmond, Va. collar counties: Henrico, Chesterfield and Hanover.” Turnout in Charlottesville, where Obama won big in 2008 thanks to young voters, is lower than 2008. Given the large turnout, independents remain key. Early exits had Romney winning among these voters by 12 percent. If that holds up, Romney will win the state.
Those polls that called states like Ohio and Iowa by a big margin for Obama are almost certainly wrong. But we don’t know, not by a long shot, who’s going to win the presidency.