NBC News has projected that President Obama has won Virginia’s 13 electoral votes, in one of the closest races of all the swing states, where “robust” turnout and record long lines at polling places in Democratic strongholds helped to propel him to a razor thin victory of Mitt Romney.
Romney narrowed the 6 point margin Obama enjoyed in 2008 by outperforming John McCain in most counties across the state, pulling the largest gains in the coal country region of Southwest Virginia.
The women’s vote also played an important role, as was expected in the state that saw some of the strongest reactions to the much chronicled “war on women’s health,” with exit polls showing Obama won women by a 9 point margin in Virginia, and lost men by only 2 points.
Virgil Goode, the former Virginia Republican congressman ousted in 2008, ultimately took less than one half of one percent of the vote as the Constitution Party candidate. New Mexico’s Libertarian Gary Johnson turned out to have the larger impact, taking more than twice as many votes as Goode.
Four years ago Virginia voters gave the state to a Democrat for the first time in 44 years, by a margin that closely paralleled the national popular vote. Those voting margins match each other quite closely again this year, which may be a sign that Virginia has become a microcosm of the country at large.