Obama wins key battleground state of Ohio

WASHINGTON Tue Nov 4, 2008 9:43pm EST

1 of 2. Democratic Party supporter Monica Stith reacts to results in the presidential race in Columbus, Ohio November 4, 2008.

Credit: Reuters/Matt Sullivan

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Democrat Barack Obama defeated Republican rival John McCain in the Ohio presidential vote on Tuesday, carrying a key battleground state that has backed the winning White House candidate since 1964, Fox News projected.

Most opinion polls before the election showed Obama with a narrow lead in Ohio, but the state, which provided a critical win for President George W. Bush in 2004, was considered a tossup. No Republican has won the White House without carrying Ohio.

The victory gave Obama all of Ohio's 20 electoral votes, providing a big boost toward the 270 needed to win the presidency in the United States' indirect system of choosing a leader.