Ohio Already Reporting Solid Voter Turnout

Melissa Block talks with Don Gonyea as polls close in Ohio.

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LYNN NEARY, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Lynn Neary. At this hour, polls have closed in what may be the most-watched state in this election, Ohio. Also closed at 7:30 Eastern Time, North Carolina and West Virginia, and NPR projects that West Virginia will fall in Mitt Romney's column. No projections on the other two states yet. NPR is also expecting Governor Romney to win Georgia, South Carolina, Kentucky and Indiana, and for President Obama, Vermont.

The usual hosts of this program, Melissa Block and Robert Siegel, are serving as our guides this evening for NPR's election coverage, and we turn to them now.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Hello, Lynn.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Hey, Lynn. And, Robert, we've been talking as we've been covering the results so far this evening, about races that are very, very close, too close to call.

SIEGEL: Yes.

BLOCK: We've been talking about the state of Virginia. People were looking to see whether that would be an early harbinger of what's to come. We have nothing to say about Virginia yet because it is extremely close.

SIEGEL: Polls closed at 7 o'clock. And I would assume people are still on line in many polling places.

BLOCK: Apparently, very, very high turnout in Virginia. But let's go now to Ohio, and that's where we're going to find NPR's national political correspondent Don Gonyea. Don, you're at the Ohio Democratic Party election night event in Columbus. What can you tell us about what you've been hearing there?

DON GONYEA, BYLINE: Well, we had very solid voter turnout across Ohio. We do know that. Some places were way up, some places up just a bit, some places, maybe, were down a little bit. But at the polling places I went to, they were steady. And I can tell you, if we need any further indication of how close this is, Governor Romney made a stop in Cleveland today, an Election Day visit.

I went out for about an hour with some AFL-CIO canvassers working neighborhoods, knocking on doors. They wanted to make sure there was nobody left who hadn't voted, who could use a ride to the polls or whatever. So right up through almost poll closing there's been action here.

BLOCK: And, Don, Ohio is a state that President Obama won by five percentage points four years ago. Talk a bit about the state of play there, because the auto industry bailout has been a huge issue for Ohio voters, lots of jobs connected to the auto industry in that state. What else have you been hearing about what's most on people's minds?

GONYEA: Well, the economy is what's most on people's mind here. And that auto bailout story has really been the lead in that discussion, especially when you look at the last two weeks of the campaign. The Romney campaign made it an issue talking about the Jeep plants that is in Toledo that perhaps would have gone away if - certainly would have gone away if Chrysler had gone under.

But Governor Romney was talking about how those jobs might be moved to Ohio anyway. It was something that he was smacked down on by the executives from Chrysler and from General Motors when he made a several claim about GM. So it became an issue, and it's something the Obama campaign try to capitalize on.

BLOCK: OK. Don, thanks so much.

GONYEA: Thank you.

BLOCK: That's NPR's Don Gonyea in Columbus, Ohio. Robert?

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