Trump wins WVa, Indiana, Ky; Clinton grabs Vermont as race heats up

Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump was the projected winner in West Virginia, Kentucky and Indiana while Democrat Hillary Clinton claimed Vermont as polls began closing Tuesday across the East in the historic campaign to elect the nation's 45th president.

Polling places across most of Florida, one of the night's most crucial prizes, began closing at 7 p.m. ET. The battleground states of Georgia, New Hampshire and Virginia also were closing, along with likely Trump states of Alabama and South Carolina and Democratic Vermont.

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Key battleground states of Ohio and North Carolina were scheduled to close at 7:30, although some North Carolina precincts were being kept open due to computer glitches that prompted long lines in Durham County.

Indiana is a historically red state and home to Trump's running mate, Gov. Mike Pence.

"Thank you Indiana for making our state first on the board to vote to Make America Great Again! @realDonaldTrump," Pence tweeted.

GOP hopeful Donald Trump and Democratic foe Hillary Clinton mostly shunned public appearances as the day wore on, but Trump conducted radio interviews and their social media accounts were far from silent.

"Don't let up, keep getting out to vote - this election is FAR FROM OVER! We are doing well but there is much time left. GO FLORIDA!," tweeted Trump, who, aides say, handles his own Twitter account.

Clinton's account chimed in with "Our neighbors in battleground states need your help. Make calls to remind Hillary supporters to go vote."

Voters faced long lines at many polling places but no major impediments, even as an estimated 90 million Americans filed through schools, churches, public libraries, civic centers and grocery stores to cast ballots. Fears of voting problems pushed voting rights advocates, conservative watchdogs and even international observers to monitor voting.

When Utah, a red state, reported problems, Trump pounced, tweeting "Just out according to @CNN: "Utah officials report voting machine problems across entire country."

Not so, CNN's Brian Stelter tweeted: "No. Utah officials reported machine problems across one entire COUNTY, not the entire COUNTRY."

By midday Tuesday, voters in several states were complaining of long waits and, on occasion, supply disruptions and technical glitches, from reliably blue Massachusetts to the battleground states of Virginia, Ohio, North Carolina and Michigan.

Early exit polling showed that, the controversy over Trump's comments about women notwithstanding, the “gender gap” appears to be comparable to what voters reported in both 2012 and 2008 — female voters were more likely to support Clinton and male voters were more likely to support Trump. And while men favored Trump, his numbers appeared to be little changed from Mitt Romney's in 2012.

The exit polling, from National Election Pool Survey by Edison Research, also showed nearly a quarter of Americans described themselves as “angry” about the way government is functioning. Those people were at the core of Trump’s support. In 2012, about a fifth of voters described their feelings toward the Obama administration as “anger.”

The poll of votes leaving polling locations also showed that black and Hispanic voters continued to grow as a percentage of the electorate, while the white vote slipped slightly.

In battleground Ohio, the state's elections office said turnout appeared to be robust, with relatively few problems. Matthew McClellan, a spokesman for Secretary of State Jon Husted, said it was too soon to say if Tuesday's turnout would break records.

Voters in the Dayton and Columbus areas encountered technical problems that slowed voting and lengthened lines earlier in the day.

In Durham County, N.C., officials said one precinct ran out of paper authorization-to-vote forms for about 90 minutes, prompting a few voters to leave. A county spokeswoman said no voters were turned away. The forms were later replenished.

Durham County is using paper poll books instead of electronic check-in because at least five precincts had technical issues, AP reported.

Contributing: Stephen Reilly

Copyright 2016 KING


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