President Barack Obama has won Ohio and reclaimed the presidency of the United States.
Obama narrowly won the popular vote over Republican challenger Mitt Romney, and claimed enough Electoral College votes to win a second term in the White House.
And in the heated and expensive race for one of Ohio's U.S. Senate seats, Sen. Sherrod Brown has defeated GOP challenger Josh Mandel to reclaim his U.S. Senate seat, according to projections from NBC News and the Associated Press.
"Today in Ohio, in the middle of America, the middle class won," Brown said in a prepared statement.
LIVE 2012 ELECTION RESULTS
RESULTS UPDATED AT 1 A.M. NOV. 7, 96% Precincts Reporting
U.S. Congress District 16
U.S. Congress District 9
Marcy Kaptur 204,366
Samuel J. Wurzelbacher 66,104
U.S. Congress District 14
Dale Virgil Blanchard 126,006
David P. Joyce 178,042
U.S. Congress District 11
U.S. Congress District 13
U.S. Congress District 4
U.S. Congress District 7 Joyce Healy-Abrams 131,445
Bob Gibbs 171,973
STATE BALLOT ISSUESBALLOT ITEM
Ohio may be the most important state in today's presidential election between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. The decision made by Ohio voters will likely chart the future of the United States for the next four years.
Stay with Patch all day as we update this article with news and information from the polls and live election results after 9 p.m.
Connect with Patch on Facebook and Twitter too!
Patch Poll: And the winner is...
So who is going to win Ohio? A Patch survey of Democratic and Republican influencers in Northeast Ohio show that while survey respondents in each party think their candidate has a better shot to win the state, Democrats appear to be more confident in Obama than Republicans are in Romney.
Influencers submitted their survey answers between Oct. 31 and Nov. 5. The survey was answered by 23 Democrats and 32 Republicans. The poll is part of Patch's Red/Blue Northeast Ohio.
Democrats believe Obama has run a better campaign -- both on the ground and across the airwaves -- than Romney. Of the 23 respondents, only one believes Romney will defeat Obama.
"President Obama has been a steady leader and deserved another term to finish what he started," one Democrat responded.
GOP influencers surveyed offer a different perspective. They say Romney ran the better campaign and that he will win Ohio. But Republicans aren't as confident: Of the 30 who answered the question, 24 believe Romney will win and six say Obama will claim victory in the Buckeye State.
Still, Republicans believe conservatives will come out and vote.
"At this stage voter turnout is critical and Republicans are very motivated to vote this year," wrote a GOP survey respondent.
Both Republicans and Democrats agree on one thing: They will be glad when it's over.
"Glad to see it come to an end!" wrote a Republican.
"A welcome end to a daily example of the worst of us," said a Democrat.
Ohio: The Ultimate Swing State
Ohio has earned its reputation as a swing state that decides presidential elections, and has picked the winner since at least 1988, selecting both Republicans and Democrats.
In 2008, Ohio voted Democratic with more than 2,940,044 voters casting ballots for the Obama-Biden team. Republicans John McCain and Sarah Palin earned 2,677,820 votes. According to statistics collected by the Ohio Secretary of the State's office, voter turnout tallied about 70 percent in 2008.
Before that, Ohio went to George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004, and Bill Clinton in 1992 and 1996. George H.W. Bush was Ohio's pick in 1988.