Could be a long night in Virginia

Polls closed at 4 p.m. L.A. time, but it's likely to be well into the evening before a projection is made. Virginia, of course, is one of the crucial swing states. Going into Election Day, Obama had a very small lead. From TNR's Nate Cohn:

As most of the big eastern battleground states close at 7 and 7:30 p.m., be prepared for Obama to take an early lead in Ohio, Florida, and even North Carolina, where early votes will probably represent a disproportionate share of initial returns. As Election Day ballots are tabulated, Romney will begin to make inroads and perhaps ultimately overcome Obama's advantage in early votes. Conversely, expect Romney to open up a big early lead in Virginia, where rural, Republican counties in western Virginia report quickly. Even if Obama ultimately wins Virginia by a modest margin, Romney will likely lead the state for most of the night. Obama won Virginia by 6 points in 2008, but it wasn't called until more than 90 percent of precincts were reported because Democratic-leaning counties take so much longer to report. In 2008, Obama won the final 600,000 votes by a 170,000 vote margin. For that same reason, Senator Jim Webb didn't take a lead until 98 percent of precincts reported in the closely contested 2006 midterm election.

More by Mark Lacter:
American-US Air settlement with DOJ includes small tweak at LAX
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Another rugged quarter for Tribune Co. papers
How does Stanford compete with the big boys?
Those awful infographics that promise to explain and only distort
Best to low-ball today's employment report
Further fallout from airport shootings
Crazy opening for Twitter*
Should Twitter be valued at $18 billion?
Recent Campaign 2012 stories:
Cost of Berman-Sherman campaign: $16.3 million
Now that's close: Measure J falls 0.56 percent short
Santa Monica mayor resigns, heads to Sacramento
Measure J edges closer to (but not over) 2/3
Richard Bloom's lead grows in Westside Assembly race

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Mark Lacter
Mark Lacter created the LA Biz Observed blog in 2006. He posted until the day before his death on Nov. 13, 2013.
Mark Lacter, business writer and editor was 59
The multi-talented Mark Lacter
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