In Florida, which decided the race in 2000 and could again play an outsize role in Tuesday’s verdict, Obama enjoyed a slight lead with a little more than half the vote counted. He had a 51 to 48 lead with 56 percent of the vote in.
However, vote-counting has been slower in southern counties such as Broward and Miami-Dade, which have heavy concentrations of Jewish voters and traditionally strongly back Democrats, meaning Obama could soon open up a wider margin – though enough votes remain uncounted to keep Romney well in the race for that state.
Meanwhile, Romney’s chances were looking better in Virginia, which Obama won in 2008 but might lose this year according to early returns. However, though polls were already supposed to have closed, lines were reportedly so long that some election officials estimated voting could drag on until 11 p.m.