Democratic Sen. Barack Obama and Republican Sen. John McCain battled for the White House on Tuesday in an election that challenged attitudes about race as surely as it gauged sentiments about the battered economy and the war in Iraq.
Sixty-two percent of voters said the economy was the most important issue. Iraq was the most important for 10%, and terrorism and health care were each the top issue for 9% of voters. The economy has dominated the last leg of the campaign trail as Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain have tried to convince voters that they are the best candidate to handle the financial crisis. The first polls closed at 6 p.m. ET in parts of Indiana, Kentucky and New Hampshire. At 7 p.m. ET, all polls will be closed in Georgia, Indiana and Virginia, three states where McCain and Obama are in a close race. All polls close in Ohio and North Carolina close by 7:30 p.m. No Republican has won the White House without winning Ohio. McCain has been campaigning hard in Pennsylvania, a state that voted for the Democratic candidate in the past two presidential elections. Polls there will be closed by 8 p.m., as will polls in Florida, another key battleground. Obama began to pull away in the polls nationally as well as in key battleground states. A CNN poll of polls calculated Tuesday showed Obama leading McCain 52% to 44%, with 4% undecided. Obama also opened a lead in the race for electoral votes. As of Monday, CNN estimated that Obama would win 291 electoral votes and McCain would win 157, with 90 electoral votes up for grabs. To win the presidency, 270 electoral votes are needed. With 60 votes, Democrats could end any Republican filibusters or other legislative moves to block legislation. Further news on Presidential Election night 2008, please read the next issue of the Budapest Business Journal.