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2008 Election Night Live Blog

2:00am: Whew, what a night. What a campaign. From the never-ending primaries to the never-ending campaign, it's actually over. It's going to take months, years, decades and generations to fully absorb and then re-absorb what happened in the 2008 presidential camapaign.

As this historic night wraps up, it appears that while Democrats won a tremendous victory, they may have fallen a bit short of their highest hopes in the Senate and House races. When the dust is settled, Washington DC is going to be preparing for a new wind blowing into town.

The transition to the Obama Administration, the inauguration and the first 100 days of the new president awaits the nation. And will be here to cover it all.

12:35am: Four states still yet to come in on the presidential level and four critical senate seats still outstanding. It appears at this point unlikely that Democrats will pick up all four,Samuel denying them a 60-seat majority there. Republican Saxby Chambliss looks like he might avoid a runoff by winning over 50 percent of the vote. Republican Gordon Smith remains in a tight race in Oregon and Ted Steven awaits the voters' verdict when polls close in Alaska at 1:00am. The most interesting race remains in Minnesota, where incumbent Republican Norm Coleman is in a tight race against Democrat Al Franken.

11:23pm: John McCain delivered a heartfelt and conciliatory concession speech in his home state of Arizona, giving a nod to the historic nature of Barack Obama's election and urging his supporters to give the incoming president thier full support.

Interestingly enough, McCain had high praise for his running mate Sarah Palin. One gets the feeling that, despite so much speculation that his choice of her was a mistake in the campaign, he still believes he made the right choice -- or at least is unwilling to blame anyone but himself for it. A nice ending to what was at times a rather bitter campaign.

11:10pm: Right on cue, CBS News estimates that both Florida and Virginia will be won by now President-elect Obama. He's now at 323 in the Electoral College and counting with Colorado, Missouri and Indiana still out as big states.

11:03pm "No matter whom you voted for, you'd have to agree this is an incredible milestone in the history of this country," is how Katie Couric put it after saying that CBS News estimates that Barack Obama will be the next president of the United States.

Historic is almost a tame word to describe the election of the first black man to hold the highest office in the land and it's going to take a generation or more before the full meaning is realized.

But that's for later. Right now it's time to find out just how big a victory Obama can roll up by the end of the night. Several key states remain to be decided and Obama will want to pick up at least several more big targets to claim a mandate. There's still a lot of the story left to be told.

10:40pm: The action is rapidly shifting a little over to the Senate races where several remain unsettled. Democrats are expected to pick up a seat in Colorado, a tight race in Georgia could result in a runoff after the election of no candidate gets over 50 percent (Georgia is the only state with that law on the books) and in Minnesota, comedian Al Franken is trying to unseat incumbent Republican Norm Coleman. Add in a special election in Mississippi, and GOP incumbents in Oregon and Alaska and we might not know the makeup of the senate until tomorrow morning -- or beyond.

10:17: The CBS News Elections and Survey unit gives the keys to Obama's Ohio win: Obama ran strong in Cuyahoga County and northeastern Ohio. But he also ran strong In Toledo and kept things even in the Cincinnati area. He also carried more than 90 percent of the black vote, according to the exit poll. More than half of voters said they were very worried about the economy, and Obama carried those votes by a margin of 3 to 2.

10:00pm: Another red state turns blue as Iowa is projected for Obama. That puts him ever closer to 270 as Obama has now been projected in states which add up to 206 Electoral Votes.

9:45pm: How competative is the state of Virginia? With three-quarters of the precincts in, the candidates stand at a 50-50 tie with McCain holding a razor-thin lead of 7,236 votes. A Republican state which has trended Democratic in recent years may well go down as the single closest race at the presidential level this year.

Speaking of close, keep an eye on that popular vote count. Obama has begun opening up a bigger lead but still has just 50 percent of the popular vote so far. He'll likely roll up the numbers in a state like California but watch to see where that goes.

9:30pm CBS News projects that Obama will win New Mexico, another state that went Republican in 2004. Increasingly, the attention is turning to just how large a possible Obama win could be. As CBS News' Jeff Greenfield and Bob Schieffer have noted on the broadcast, it's becoming much harder to see a path to 270 for McCain.

Still outstanding are Florida, with 27 Electoral Votes, North Carolina (15), Virginia (13), Indiana (11), Missouri (11) and Iowa (7) and Colorado (9).

9:25pm: Devastating blow for John McCain's campaign as CBS News estimates that Barack Obama will win the state of Ohio and its 20 Electoral Votes. "I think Barack Obama will be the president of the United States," said Bob Schieffer upon hearing the news. The state that won George Bush re-election in 2004 has turned blue this time around.

9:20pm: Georgia will go to McCain, CBS News projects, as the Republican gets one more state in his column. That's good news for McCain as he waits for these reliably GOP states to come in. Indiana, Virginia, Ohio, Florida and North Carolina are still close. If McCain can hold onto those states, things could tighten as we head out west.

9:00pm: Another round of poll closings, another moment of business-as-usual when it comes to expectations. Texas, North Dakota, Kansas and Wyoming go to McCain, CBS News projects while Obama picks up New York, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Rhode Island.

Still outstanding are the states which will almost certainly decide the outcome of this election and where the polls have already closed. They include Florida, Ohio, Georgia, North Carolina, Colorado and New Mexico.

8:50pm: A McCain aide tells CBS News: "At this point, we need a miracle."

8:30pm: A big blow to McCain's path to 270 Electoral Votes as CBS News projects Pennsylvania will go to Obama when all the votes are in and counted. This was a state where McCain put in tons of effort and resources in the closing days of the campaign, banking on conservative Democrats in the "T" parts of the state. Democrats outnumber Republicans in the state, however, and did a fantastic job in registering far more voters this year.

With New Hampshire and Pennsylvania off the table, McCain needs to hold onto just about every state Bush won in 2004 or find an improbable blue state to turn red.

In Pennsylvania, according to the CBS News Election and Survey unit, the key to Obama's victory was the double-digit lead he appears to to be piling up in the key Philadelphia suburbs.

8:05pm: First semi-big state projected in a whole bunch of new ones by CBS News -- New Hampshire. This is a state that served as McCain's launching point for his primary comeback and also as one of Obama's biggest and most surprising defeats to Hillary Clinton. It's only worth four electoral votes but was one state McCain targeted to switch from blue to red this year.

Other projections for Obama are: Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Maryland, Connecticut, Maine, Delaware and D.C. For McCain: Oklahoma and Tennessee.

7:50pm: CBS News projects South Carolina for McCain, closing one of the southern states up that were left hanging open. At 8:00pm, there will be a slew of poll closings, including the key states of Florida, Pennsylvania and Missouri.

7:40pm: Race has obviously been one of the most-discussed issues in this campaign and Bob Schieffer just made a very apt observation on CBS News -- if Obama's mother (who was white) and his father (a black man from Kenya), had lived in a state like North Carolina at the time they met, they would have faced many social and legal hurdles to getting married. Now Obama is battling it out in several southern states as a presidential candidate.

7:30pm: CBS News is projecting that McCain will win the state of West Virginia and also that Gov. Joe Manchin and Sen. Jay Rockefeller will also be re-elected. No surprises at all here.

States where polls have now closed where there is not yet a projection in the presidential race are: Georgia, Virginia, Indiana (where polls have been ordered to stay open in Marion), South Carolina, Ohio and North Carolina. All six states were carried by George W. Bush in 2004.

7:10pm: Former Virginia Governor Mark Warner will win the Virginia Senate race, CBS News projects, defeating another former governor, Republican Jim Gilmore. This will be one of the big storylines to watch tonight -- whether Democrats can pick up the nine seats they would need for a 60-seat filibuster-proof majority (although even that is questionable due to independent Joe Lieberman). Still, Warner's win is a pickup for Democrats, giving them a net gain of one so far tongight.

7:00pm: First projections of the night from CBS News -- Kentucky for John McCain and Vermont for Obama. Looks like a close race in Indiana and nothing to say yet about Georgia, South Carolina and all-important Virginia.

The Old Dominion is a place Obama's campaign put tremendous resources and Republicans have been fighting back at the end of the race. It's worth watching these southern states. All have large black populations and are traditionally reliably Republican in presidential elections, which should make for an interesting mix.

6:35pm: Early exit polls indicate the kind of mood voters were in when they went to the polls today and there's not much surprise as it echoes what Americans have told pollsters throughout the presidential campaign.

About three in four voters today said they think the U.S. is on the wrong track and 71 percent of them said they disapproved of the job President Bush is doing. A higher number, 73 percent, said they disapproved of the job Congress is doing.

Over 60 percent said the economy was the most important issue on their minds when deciding who to vote for -- an issue that heavily favored Barack Obama in pre-election polls. Over ninety percent said they feel the economy is in bad shape and eight in 10 voters are worried that the economic crisis will harm their family's finances, including half who are very worried.

These findings are very similar to what polling and other surveys have found, especially toward the end of this campaign.

6:00pm: Welcome to the 2008 Election Night live blog on We'll be here all night, starting at 6:30pm ET and continuing non-stop as late as necessary. Stick with us to find out the very latest about what's happening in this historic election and what it all means. Stay with for up-to-the-second election results and follow us all night on Twitter as well.

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