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Latest 2012 Presidential Electoral Vote Maps

Three leading online vote-counters show a close race between Obama and Romney.

With Election Day 2012 now less than 24 hours away, the presidential electoral vote situation is still up in the air.

Two leading vote-tracking maps — by USA TODAY and The Washington Post —report that neither President Obama nor GOP nominee Mitt Romney can claim the 270 electoral votes necessary to win the election — based on so-called committed states.

— How do you think the election will shake out? Will it be deadlocked like in 2000? Tell us in the comments below.

A candidate needs at least 270 electoral votes to win the presidency. If a candidate receives the majority of a particular state's popular vote, he gets ALL of that state's electoral votes. In other words, the nationwide popular vote is not necessarily the deciding factor.

The importance of this was shown in the 2000 presidential election. Democrat Al Gore got more popular votes nationwide than did George W. Bush. However, Bush won that ultra-close election because Florida's electoral votes gave him the necessary winning total.

In the close 2012 election, a few swing states — such as Ohio and Virginia — are expected to decide the outcome.

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