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Too close to call


REUTERS

Too close to call

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REPUBLICAN DONALD TRUMP held slight leads in the vital battleground states of Florida, Virginia, North Carolina and Ohio on Tuesday, clinging to a narrow advantage over Democrat Hillary Clinton in key states that could decide their race for the White House.

With voting completed in more than two-thirds of the 50 U.S. states, the race was too close to call in Ohio, Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire and Virginia, leaving the race for the White House on a knife’s edge.

Both candidates scored victories in states where they were expected to win. Trump captured conservative states in the South and Midwest, while Clinton swept several states on the East Coast and Illinois in the Midwest.

But Trump’s slight edge in Florida, Virginia, North Carolina and Ohio gave him an early advantage in the state-by-state fight for 270 Electoral College votes needed to win.

Clinton had more options to reach 270, with Trump needing a virtual sweep of about six toss-up states to win. But a Trump win in those four states would make it nearly impossible for Clinton to clinch the White House.

With 94 per cent of the vote counted in Florida, Trump led Clinton by about 140 000 votes out of 9 million cast. In Virginia, with 76 per cent counted, Trump led by 60 000 votes out of 2.9 million cast. With 55 per cent of the vote counted in Ohio, Trump led by about 275 000 votes out of 3 million cast.

As of 9:30 p.m. EST, Trump had 133 electoral votes to Clinton’s 104, with U.S. television networks projecting the winner in 25 of the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Clinton is seen by financial markets as more likely to ensure financial and political stability and as the early election results showed a close battle, the U.S. dollar skidded in wild Asian trade on Wednesday. (Reuters)

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