The Rust Belt giveth, the Rust Belt taketh away.
Mitt Romney’s heavy late push in the Midwest was staked to the belief that he could peel enough blue-collar voters from President Obama’s 2008 coalition to put him over the top.
Those aspirations have been whittled down to just two heartland states. Network projections have President Obama scoring Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan, three states where Republicans had once nursed upset aspirations. With New Hampshire also called for Obama shortly before 10 p.m., the math is this: Mitt Romney needs Virginia, Florida, and Ohio, and either Iowa or Colorado.
Virginia, Florida, and Ohio all closed more than two hours ago and remain unknown. The 9 p.m. closings included swing-state Colorado, where the counting continues. The 10 p.m. poll closings contain five states likely to go Romney, one likely Obama state, and two that are up in the air: Iowa and Nevada.
According to the networks, Romney has taken Utah, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Mississippi, Kansas, Louisiana, Texas, Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Indiana, West Virginia, South Carolina, Oklahoma, and at least three of Nebraska's five electoral votes. Obama also took New York, New Jersey, Vermont, Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Delaware, Rhode Island, Maryland, Illinois, and Washington, D.C.
Florida, seemingly as ever, remains knotted.