Barack Obama wins US presidential election

November 5th, 2008 - 11:38 am ICT by IANS  

Barack ObamaWashington, Nov 5 (IANS) Democrat Barack Obama has won a historic victory in the race for the White House with Republican rival John McCain conceding defeat. TV projections gave Obama an unbeatable 297 to 139 lead in electoral votes even as results kept coming in.Obama, who would be America’s first African American president, was projected the winner of the epic battle by CNN and ABC at 11 p.m. (9:30 a.m. IST Wed) with wins in crucial battleground states taking him over the 270 vote magic figure.

As polls closed on the West coast, the Illinois senator was projected to win California, Washington, Oregon and Hawaii as also Virginia, a state that hasn’t voted for a Democratic president since 1964.

On the road to victory Obama won Ohio, a key battleground in American presidential politics, and held off assaults by McCain in New Hampshire and Pennsylvania, the top two states that Democrats won in 2004 and that McCain had fought to take back.

Obama won victories across the northeast, sweeping every state in New England as well as New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota and his home state of Illinois.

McCain won a number of southern states, including West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama and Louisiana.

The first exit polls out Tuesday put economy as by far the top issue on the minds of voters.

Sixty-two percent of voters said the economy was the most important issue. Iraq was the most important for 10 percent, and terrorism and healthcare were each the top issue for nine percent of voters.

The economy had dominated the last leg of the campaign trail as Obama and McCain tried to convince voters that they are the best candidate to handle the financial crisis.

Voters expressed excitement and pride in their country after casting their ballots Tuesday in what has proved to be a historic election.

Poll workers reported high turnout across many parts of the country, and some voters waited hours to cast their ballots.

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