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LIVE UPDATES: Fox News Projects That President Obama Wins Virginia

As we await the results of the 2012 presidential election, get continuing updates on the standings of Mitt Romney and Barack Obama in the state of Virginia, with latest polls, political facts, figures, stories and commentary.


UPDATE, 1:08a ET: Fox News projects that President Obama will win in Virginia.


UPDATE, 10:33p ET: With 69 percent of the vote counted, Mitt Romney has a slight lead in Virginia. The race remains too close to call.


UPDATE, 8:45p ET: Here are the latest numbers out of Virginia:


UPDATE, 8:26p ET: The state of Virginia has decided that if you were in line to vote by 7pm tonight you will be allowed to vote. This has resulted in the Virginia State Board of Elections pausing reporting for “about an hour.” Both campaigns have agreed to the extended hours, Bret Baier reported.


UPDATE, 7:00p ET: Virginia polls just closed at 7:00p ET, but the race is still too close to call, Fox News reports. Stay tuned for more as the votes continue to roll in.

Update: Virginia is seen by many as the first major indicator of today’s election, a sentiment echoed by Larry Sabato of the UVA Center for Politics. He discusses the state's importance on Your World in the video below.

Update: Watch Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) discuss the race in his state on Fox and Friends:


Current Standing Among Likely Voters:
Barack Obama: 47.4%
Mitt Romney: 47.9%

Poll Times:
Open: 6:00a ET
Close: 7:00p ET

2008 Election Results:
Obama - 1,959,532 votes - 52.63%
McCain - 1,725,005 votes - 46.33%
Other - 38,723 votes - 1.04%

BACKGROUND:
Virginia is one of the nation’s newest battleground states.

For 10 presidential races in a row, Virginia voted reliably Republican. Then came 2008, and Obama's victory. Now the GOP is battling to take back what it still regards as its turf.

But this isn't the sleepy, agrarian Old Dominion that reflexively backed Republicans in every White House election from Dwight Eisenhower in 1952 through George W. Bush in 2004, except for Lyndon Johnson's 1964 national landslide.

A population boom and its attendant cultural, economic and demographic changes, particularly since the 1990s, has transformed a state both parties had dismissed for decades as a Republican redoubt into a pivotal electoral battleground for the second presidential race in a row.

Few expect a repeat performance in Virginia for Obama from four years ago, when he defeated McCain by 53 percent to 46 percent, matching his nationwide popular vote margin. This time, it's likely to be much closer.

The state is deeply conservative, but population shifts in Northern Virginia have changed the state’s political demographics -- for the better for Democrats.

Spurred in part by a large influx of voters from throughout the country to suburban Northern Virginia in the past couple of decades, the state's diverse electorate has transformed it into a shiny target for Democrats.

Obama won Virginia in 2008 by registering and turning out new minority and young voters, particularly in the Washington suburbs in Northern Virginia.

Romney’s argument against the expansion of government is complicated by the number of government workers in Virginia.

While, technically, Romney can get to the 270 electoral votes he needs to win without Virginia, no strategist believes he could realistically lose the Old Dominion and still win swing states like Colorado, Iowa, Ohio, and Wisconsin. Virginia is a luxury for Obama.

A good sign for Romney, since 2008, Republicans have taken over both chambers of the state legislature and Virginians elected popular Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell, a prospective vice presidential nominee.

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