Obama, Romney in see-saw battle as result trickle in

Washington, Nov 7 (IANS) As the first results from the hard fought most expensive US presidential election started trickling in, President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney seemed engaged in a see-saw battle.

There was no major upset as media reports projected the two rival contenders winning the states they were expected to win and battleground states too close to call.

By 10 p.m. Tuesday (8:30 a.m. Wednesday India time) with result from 28 states in, the Washington Post projected Romney at 154 electoral votes to Obama's 107. CNN gave them an even 153. It takes 270 votes in the 538-member electoral college to win the White House.

The race is tight in Florida, New Hampshire, Ohio and Virginia, according to CNN.

Exit polls showed Obama has taken Vermont, Washington DC, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts and Rhode Island in the winner-take-all elections in the states. He will also win Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Michigan, New Jersey and New York, according to CNN projections.

Romney won Indiana, Kentucky, Oklahoma, South Carolina and West Virginia. In 2008, President Obama lost in West Virginia by more than 13 percent but won in Indiana by 1 percent.

Romney will also win Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas and Wyoming, CNN projected.

Maine awards electoral votes by congressional district. Obama has won three out of four in the state, with the final not yet called.

Of all the states thus far called, only Indiana switched hands since 2008, when Obama narrowly won it.

CNN also projected Republicans will maintain majority in the US House of Representatives, which they currently control by 242-193.

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at arun.kumar@ians.in)