President Donald Trump is projected to win a key swing state in Ohio over Democratic challenger Joe Biden, according to the Associated Press.
Trump, who won the state in 2016 over Hillary Clinton, is projected to win Ohio’s 18 electoral votes.
Both Republicans and Democrats had been closely watching Ohio, which has a long history of picking the winning presidential candidate.
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Ohioans have voted for the winner going back to 1964 and no Republican has ever won the presidency without taking the Buckeye state.
Trump led with about 53 per cent of the vote to Biden’s 45 per cent, with about 98 per cent of polls reported.
The ongoing pandemic had been a key issue for both candidates with Biden pitching himself as a better leader on the response to COVID-19, while Trump told voters in Ohio he would lead a stronger economic recovery. Some 9 million people in the U.S. have been infected with the virus, while over 230,000 have died.
“I’m running as a proud Democrat, but I’ll govern as an American president,” Biden told supporters during a last-minute appearance in Cleveland on Monday. “I promise you I’ll work as hard for those who don’t support me as those who do.”
Trump, meanwhile, downplayed a recent surge of the novel coronavirus during a rally in Ohio on Oct. 24, emphasizing the drop in death rates from COVID-19.
“This election is a choice between a Trump super-recovery and a Biden — I hate to say it — a depression,” Trump said.