WASHINGTON — As polls closed in the D.C. area, Hillary Clinton appeared to be headed to victory in the Democratic-leaning District and Maryland, but faced tighter competition from Republican Donald Trump in battleground Virginia.
Polls closed at 7 p.m. in Virginia, with vote counting still underway, particularly in the Northern Virginia counties and in the D.C. suburbs that are considered a Democratic stronghold.
Strong turnout in Fairfax County, the Commonwealth’s most populous county, in the morning and afternoon set it on pace to hit 80 percent turnout figure. Barack Obama handily carried the county in both 2008 and 2012.
Polls closed at 8 p.m. in Maryland and D.C.
There are 13 electoral votes up for grabs in Virginia; 10 in Maryland and three in D.C.
Clinton had held a solid, though fluctuating lead in Virginia in the months leading up to the election. Heading into Tuesday, the polls tightened but still indicated Clinton led Trump by between 4 to 6 points.
Exit polling by CBS News indicated Trump had a slight lead over Clinton among male voters but that Clinton would win women in Virginia 57 to 38 percent against Trump. Independents were also projected to back Clinton against Trump, 46 to 43. Clinton was also leading black voters and voters under 30 by wide margins, and by a slimmer margin, white voters with a college degree, according to exit polling.
Overall, exit polls indicated Trump was projected to win white voters in Virginia 55 to 38 over Clinton.
White and black voters appeared to be turning out in the same percentages as in 2012, according to the CBS exit polls.
About six in 10 voters in Virginia said the economy was most important issue in the election, according to Associated Press exit polling. Clinton had the advantage among voters who said foreign policy was the most important issue; Trump led among voters who said immigration was the most important issue, according to AP.
Clinton has held a commanding lead in Maryland — up by 32 points over Trump — in the week before Election Day, according to Real Clear Politics state polling averages. Obama carried the state by 26 points over Republican challenger Mitt Romney in 2012.
In the early evening, Maryland’s elections administrator told The Associated Press turnout in the state had been “extraordinary” and was on pace to potentially surpass a 1992 record of 81 percent.
Since the District was granted three electoral votes in 1961, the city has never voted for a Republican presidential candidate.
The post Eyes on swing state Virginia in tight presidential race appeared first on WTOP.