Early US vote tallies show very tight race

05 November 2008 00:45  [Source: ICIS news]

Obama and McCain near evenWASHINGTON (ICIS news)--Preliminary vote tallies reported on Tuesday indicate that Democrat presidential candidate Barack Obama and Republican hopeful John McCain are running almost dead-even in Indiana, a key battleground state that McCain must win if he is to be president.


According to preliminary returns reported by Cable News Network (CNN), Senator McCain was drawing 51% among voters in Indiana against 48% for Senator Obama with just 6% of precincts having reported results.


But those figures were very early and the tally was certain to change while voting continues and ballots are counted into the night.


McCain was said to be showing a 52% standing among voters having cast their ballots in Kentucky compared with a 47% share for Obama with only 11% of precincts reporting results.


Kentucky has been regarded as relatively safe Republican territory for McCain, so a close race with Obama in that state does not bode well - at least in these very early estimates - for McCain.


Exit polls also show that economic concerns were the principal issue for voters who cast their ballots in early voting on Tuesday.  CNN said 62% of voters polled after they cast ballots said the economy was their principal concern, followed by the war in Iraq at 10% and terrorism and health issues, both at 9%.


McCain has polled better among voters on national security issues but less well on economic matters.  In addition, bad economic times during election years typically play against the party that occupies the White House.


The vote tally in Indiana will be closely watched through the night because it is one of ten battleground states where pollsters have said over the past week that neither McCain nor Obama has a clear advantage.


In addition to Indiana, the battleground states include Florida, Georgia, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio and South Dakota.


However, because Obama is believed to hold a clear advantage in 24 of the other 40 states, McCain has to win all of the battleground states and perhaps clinch upset victories in some of the presumed Obama states if he is to win the White House.


Definitive results for the presidential contest might not be known until the early hours of Wednesday.


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By: Joe Kamalick
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