Barack Obama wins Presidential Election

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OBAMA WINS: Barack Obama has been elected president of the United States, the first African-American elevated to the White House.

UNCUT: Obama wins
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With victories in Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and other battleground states, Obama built a commanding lead over his Republican rival, John McCain.

Obama surged in the polls amid a national financial crisis, campaigning as the candidate of change. He and his fellow Democrats sought to link McCain to the unpopular George W. Bush.

The son of a black man from Kenya and a white woman from Kansas, Obama soared into the national spotlight after his electrifying speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, when he was making his first run for the Senate.

Emphasizing his early opposition to the Iraq war, he defeated Hillary Rodham Clinton after a long, bruising primary fight. He then beat back Republican efforts to portray him as reckless, naive and inexperienced. He also had to combat Internet misinformation questioning his religion and patriotism.

As he fought to become president, Obama attracted millions of first-time voters -- and brought the historic American election to the attention of the entire world.

BUSH CALLS OBAMA: President Bush has called Barack Obama to congratulate him on winning the presidency.

The two-term Republican president told the Illinois senator upon his historic win: "What an awesome night for you, your family and your supporters."

Barack Obama was elected the nation's first black president Tuesday night in dominant fashion, besting Republican John McCain.

Bush promised Obama a smooth transition to the White House.

Bush spokeswoman Dana Perino said the president told Obama: "You are about to go on one of the great journeys of life. Congratulations and go enjoy yourself."

6TH UPDATE: AP has just predicted that Obama has won Florida.

Barack Obama has also won Virginia, a state that last voted for a Democrat for president in 1964.

The win came as Obama cemented his lead over John McCain, moving him closer to becoming the nation's first black president.

He earlier captured other key states that were central to McCain's hopes, including Ohio and Pennsylvania.

In addition to its choice of Obama, Virginia also turned over the second of its two Senate seats to the Democrats, with Mark Warner defeating Republican former governor Jim Gilmore.

Obama also won in New Mexico, with five electoral votes.

5TH UPDATE: Barack Obama has now added Iowa's seven electoral votes to his total, as he builds on his commanding lead over John McCain.

Obama now has 202 electoral votes out of the 270 he needs for the nomination.

He earlier won in Pennsylvania and in Ohio -- both states that were key to John McCain's hopes.

No Republican has ever been elected president without capturing Ohio.

McCain adds five electoral votes with his victory in Utah. That gives him 75 in all.

4TH UPDATE: Barack Obama has built a commanding lead, capturing another sought-after prize.

He wins Ohio and its 20 electoral votes, giving the Democrat a total of 195 to John McCain's 70.

Obama needs 270 to clinch the nomination.

He'd earlier won in neighboring Pennsylvania.

Both states were seen as key to McCain's victory chances.

Obama also swept the states in the East and Midwest that traditionally go blue.

McCain's latest wins are in Kansas, North Dakota, Arkansas, Alabama and Louisiana, with 33 electoral votes in all.

Democrats have picked up Republican Senate seats in Virginia, North Carolina, New Hampshire and New Mexico.

But Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell has won re-election to his Senate seat in Kentucky.

Republicans Jeff Sessions in Alabama and Pat Roberts in Kansas were also re-elected.

3RD UPDATE: After capturing the sought-after prize of Pennsylvania, Barack Obama has added New York, Michigan, Minnesota, Rhode Island and Wisconsin.

That gives him a total of 171 electoral votes of the 270 needed to win.

John McCain picks up a win in Wyoming, bringing his electoral vote total to 37.

There have been two more Democratic captures of Republican Senate seats. In New Hampshire, Democrat Jeanne Shaheen defeated Republican John Sununu.

In New Mexico, Democrat Tom Udall wins the seat that had been held by Republican Pete Domenici.

Republicans John Barrasso and Michael Enzi captured Wyoming's two Senate races.

Democrat Carl Levin was re-elected to the Senate from Michigan, and Democrat Jack Reed won in Rhode Island, as did Democrat Tim Johnson in South Dakota.

QUICK UPDATE: Barack Obama picks up four more electoral votes with a win in New Hampshire. He now has 82 electoral votes, to John McCain's 34.

CNN has also predicted Obama will take Pennsylvania, a key battleground state in the election.

SECONDARY RESULTS: Barack Obama is the winner in New Jersey and Massachusetts -- and in his home state of Illinois.

He's also captured Maryland, Connecticut, Maine and the District of Columbia, as well as running mate Joe Biden's home state of Delaware.

John McCain, meanwhile, has won in South Carolina, Tennessee and Oklahoma.

In all, that gives Obama 78 electoral votes so far. McCain has 34.

Biden is also the winner in his Delaware Senate race. The state's Democratic governor would appoint a successor if Biden becomes vice president.

Democrats John Kerry of Massachusetts, Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey and Richard Durbin of Illinois have held onto their Senate seats, as have Republicans Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Susan Collins of Maine.

FIRST RESULTS:

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The first results from the election are in: John McCain is the winner in Kentucky, while Barack Obama has captured Vermont.

Obama and McCain split the first two states in which the outcome is known -- McCain taking the eight electoral votes at stake in Kentucky, while Obama gets Vermont's three electoral votes.

Democrats, meanwhile, have taken one Senate seat away from the Republicans, with Mark Warner defeating Jim Gilmore in Virginia to capture the seat that was held by the retiring Republican John Warner.

In South Carolina, meanwhile, Republican Lindsey Graham -- a leading McCain ally and adviser -- was re-elected to his Senate seat.