As voting comes to a close throughout the country, exit polling results will quickly follow.
Exit polls are conducted for the National Election Pool, made up of the Associated Press and the major TV networks. But how useful are the earliest numbers as indicators of who will win? Not very, especially in close races, and especially as raw data.
But once the polls close and results are weighted by precinct, they'll start to provide a clearer picture of how tonight may play out. Check back here for new information throughout the night as that data becomes available.
11/06/2012 11:25 PM EST
President Obama Wins Re-Election
President Obama wins Ohio, Iowa, breaks 270 electoral votes to retain the presidency.
11/06/2012 11:08 PM EST
West Coast Exit Polls Released
Oregon has not yet been called, but leans toward Obama.
11/06/2012 10:59 PM EST
Democrats Largely Retain 2008 Party ID Edge
@ FixAaron :
Exit polls now show Democratic voters outnumber Republicans by six points nationally. In 2008, it was seven.
11/06/2012 10:53 PM EST
West Coast Polls Near Closing
Next wave of polls to close: California, Hawaii, Idaho, North Dakota, Oregon and Washington all stop at 11 p.m. eastern. Only remaining state: Alaska, which closes at 1 a.m. eastern.
11/06/2012 10:49 PM EST
Abortion Emerges As An Issue In Swing States
@ PoliticalTicker :
Exit polls: Abortion as an election issue - http://t.co/Dfo4k6v8
11/06/2012 10:26 PM EST
Early Exit Polls Show Lead For Obama In Iowa, Nevada
Barack Obama holds a double-digit edge among independents in Iowa, leading Romney 55 to 41 in preliminary exit poll results. Independents made up about a third of state voters, as did Democrats and Republicans.
Obama leads among women in the state, 59 to 40 percent, while Romney leads among men, 53 to 44 percent.
The gender gap was equally pronounced among Nevada women, who favor Obama 56 to 40 in early results, with men splitting toward Romney by a more equal 50 to 46.
The Latino vote in Nevada came in around 19 percent, with 69 percent of Latino voters supporting Obama, and 24 percent Romney. Independents, who make up about a third of the Silver State electorate, are leaning toward Romney, 50 percent to 42 percent. The rest of the electorate was 38 percent Democratic, 29 percent Republican.
Among the 45 percent of Nevada voters making less than $50,000 a year, Obama led 66 percent to Romney's 29 percent in early exit polls.
11/06/2012 10:03 PM EST
Polls Close In Four More States
Voting is also closed in Montana and Utah, which have been called for Romney.
11/06/2012 9:38 PM EST
Percentage Of White Voters Falls
@ RonBrownstein :
National exit poll shows whites drop to 73% of the electorate; have dropped in each election since 80 except 88-92. #YourVote
11/06/2012 9:26 PM EST
Unions Back Obama In Wisconsin
Wisconsin shows early signs of swinging toward Obama, thanks in no small part to union voters, CBS notes:
While the candidates are split among non-union households, Mr. Obama has a 66 percent to 33 percent lead among the one in five voters who say someone in their household belongs to a labor union.
Early exit poll results also showed Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) at 54 percent job approval, CBS said.
UPDATE: Wisconsin has now been called for Obama.
11/06/2012 9:19 PM EST
Early Look At Wisconsin, Colorado Exit Polls
Women split heavily for Obama in Wisconsin, according to early exit polls, favoring him 57 to 42 over Romney, while men preferred Romney by a narrower 51 percent to 47 percent.
Democrats made up 37 percent of the state's electorate, while Republicans and independents were each about a third. Independents were divided close to evenly between Obama and Romney.
Initial exit polls in Colorado showed almost no gender gap, with men and women both divided evenly between Romney and Obama.
The Latino turnout in Colorado was about 11 percent, breaking 74 percent for Obama and 25 percent for Romney in preliminary exit results.
At 38 percent, independents made up the majority of the state's electorate and split 50 to 43 for Romney. Democrats were 32 percent of the electorate, while Republicans were 30 percent.