US Election: Donald Trump Maintains Early Lead
Republican candidate Donald Trump has gained the edge over Hillary Clinton in the race for the key swing states that will decide the White House election.
He has won Florida, Ohio and North Carolina, while Democratic nominee Mrs Clinton took Virginia, ABC projects. Pennsylvania is too close to call.
The race is deadlocked in Michigan, which has not voted for a Republican White House candidate since 1988.
Markets lurched as Mrs Clinton’s path to victory seemed less assured.Mr Trump’s Ohio win was a big boost to him, as no Republican has ever taken the White House without winning the Midwestern bellwether.
He also won Iowa, which last voted for a Republican in 2004. The Republican nominee also racked up wins in the Midwest and South, while Mrs Clinton swept the Northeast, ABC News projects.
As expected, he has also been victorious in the Republican strongholds of Utah, Alabama, Kentucky, South Carolina, Nebraska, Indiana, West Virginia, Mississippi, Tennessee, Oklahoma and Texas, ABC projects.
And he is forecast to win Missouri, Montana, Louisiana, Arkansas, Kansas, North Dakota, South Dakota, Idaho and Wyoming – all solidly conservative states. Mrs Clinton won the Democratic heartlands of California, Oregon, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, Vermont, Delaware, Illinois, Rhode Island, Hawaii, Washington and District of Columbia, as well as New Mexico and Colorado.
A candidate must secure 270 of the 538 electoral college votes to declare victory.
Voting has now ended everywhere but Alaska, and full results are expected imminently. More details later….