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Election 2012: Live Results

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Poll Closing Times: Election Day polls: closing times

Here is a little guide for watching Election Night unfold via WTOP:

(All times Eastern)

7 p.m.: Polls close in six states but all eyes will be on Virginia, the first of the battleground states to begin reporting results. If either candidate is comfortably ahead in Virginia, with 13 electoral votes, that could be a leading indicator of which way the night is going.

7:30 p.m.: Polls close in three states, including all-important Ohio (18 electoral votes) and competitive North Carolina (15).

8 p.m.: More pieces of the puzzle will start falling into place as polls close in the District of Columbia and 16 states, including battlegrounds Florida (29) and New Hampshire (four).

8:30 p.m.: Polls close in Arkansas (six), where Romney is comfortably ahead in surveys.

9 p.m.: Polls close in 14 states, including battlegrounds Colorado (nine) and Wisconsin (10). Democrats have carried Wisconsin for six straight presidential elections and Obama had the edge in polling going in, so a flip here would be especially noteworthy.

10 p.m.: Polls close in four states, including the last of the battlegrounds, Iowa (six) and Nevada (six).

11 p.m.: Polls close in five western states, but most are foregone conclusions for Obama. He gets 78 electoral votes from California, Hawaii, Oregon and Washington; Romney gets four from Idaho.

1 a.m. Wednesday: The last of the polls close, in Alaska. Romney gets three electoral votes. Will many people still be up?

Note that most of these states won’t be called shortly after their polls close unless there is overwhelming evidence in the vote totals or exit polls indicating a call can be made.

Nate Ashworth :Nate Ashworth is the Founder and Senior Editor of Election Central. He's been blogging elections and politics for almost a decade. He started covering the 2008 Presidential Election which turned into a full-time political blog in 2012 and 2016.