Iowa race ‘too early to call’

Updated
A polling station on Election Day 2012 in Otter Creek, Iowa.
A polling station on Election Day 2012 in Otter Creek, Iowa.
Mark Hirsch/Getty Images

The polls have closed in Iowa, but NBC News says the vote is too early to call.

The president and Republican challenger Mitt Romney have been in fierce competition to snag the state’s six Electoral College votes.  A swing state, Iowa went for  Obama won by 10 percentage points in 2008.  It went for George W. Bush in 2004 and Al Gore in 2000.

Leading up to Election Day, the most recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist gave Obama a six point lead over Romney in Iowa among likely voters, 50% to 44%.

Another big race to watch: The U.S. House race in Iowa is in the 4th Congressional District. Republican Rep. Steve King is in tough fight to keep his seat against Christie Vilsack, the Democratic challenger. As the wife of former Governor Tom Vilsack, she was Iowa’s first lady for eight years.

Nearly half of the electorate in Iowa voted early, shattering previous records, according to state officials. At least 40% of likely voters in the Hawkeye State cast their ballots early.  Chad Olsen, a spokesman for Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz, reported approximately 670,000 people voted early as of Monday night, with absentee ballots still on the way.

Polling stations were reportedly busy, but with shorter wait times – a pleasant surprise given the long lines that typically come with Election Day.  The heavy push by campaigns, primarily the Democratic side, to take advantage of early voting has been credited with increasing voter turnout and shrinking the wait time in voting lines.

Iowa race 'too early to call'

Updated