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INFOGRAPHIC: It’s Election Day In The U.S. - Here Are The Paths To Victory
November 6, 2012
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It's the big question of the day: who's going to be the next President of the United States?

Tens of millions of Americans are going to the polls today to answer it (including Snoop Lion - he posted this video to let his followers know he's hitting the voting booth).

Polling stations are open now; they'll close this evening, beginning at 6:00 pm in the eastern states, and the final count will take place.

The contest between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney is still very close. Polls suggest the race is neck and neck, although Obama holds a slim polling lead in crucial swing states, according to the BBC.

So the next question is: once the votes are in, what is the path to winning the White House?

This interactive infographic from the New York Times and visualization experts Mike Bostock and Shan Carter breaks down all the paths to victory - the states that each candidate has to win to take the presidency.

Click on the image below to check it out:


The graphic is based on results in the "swing states" that could go to either candidate.

Combining all the possible ways those states could vote brings up a whole lot of paths to victory: 512, to be exact.

Of course, not every outcome is a win for one candidate: there are also five paths that lead to a tie.

If that happens, the newly elected House of Representatives will decide who gets to be president (the Times thinks they'll pick Romney), and the Senate would select the Vice President (possibly Joe Biden, the Times believes).

The graphic lets you play around with different scenarios. If you think Romney will win Florida, for instance, you can click that option at the top. The whole graphic rearranges itself to show you what options are left to each candidate once that state is declared for one of them.

So it's fun for playing with what-ifs as the day unfolds. But you can also use it to track the results tonight.

If you're planning on watching the results on TV, you can use the graphic to play along: if the Democrats or Republicans are declared the winner in a state, mark it as won.

The infographic will adjust the paths to victory accordingly, showing you what else each candidate will have to do to take the presidency.

If you're looking for election night coverage, check out 'America Votes: The National With Peter Mansbridge' on CBC News Network from 8 PM to 2 AM EST.

And for a different view on which swing states might be key to the election, check out this article from CBC News.


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