By Jonathan Smith, Editor in Chief
With several key battleground states still up for grabs, President George W. Bush led in projected Electoral College votes 249 to Sen. John Kerry’s, D-Mass., 242.
Wisconsin, Ohio, Iowa, Nevada and New Mexico remained undetermined at 2 a.m. Wednesday. The election could come down to which way Ohio votes and which candidate receives its 20 electoral votes.
To win the presidency, a candidate must garner at least 270 of the nation’s 538 electoral votes. Should Ohio’s votes go to Bush, as several networks predicted around midnight, he would guarantee at least a tie in the Electoral College. In case of an Electoral tie, the House of Representatives, the majority of which is Republican, would choose the president.
Even if pollsters predict a winner in Ohio, it is possible lawyers from either campaign could become involved, delaying the final results from being known and creating a situation similar to the litigation and recounts in Florida during the 2000 election.
Some students watching the election results throughout the evening predicted a recount was possible.
“Kerry is probably going to win or something, and Bush is going to do a recount or vice versa,” said Rashad Williams, freshman business major from Irving.
As expected, Texas overwhelmingly went for Bush, and Taylor County voted 77 percent for Bush.
Students on campus gathered in rooms and residence hall lobbies to watch election returns come in throughout the evening. Some made predictions, about how they believed it would end. Others were not as quick to make solid predictions remembering the 2000 election, which was drawn out for several weeks.
“This year it’s not as intense, and I doubt it will be as drawn out as last time, but we won’t know tonight,” said Marie Thomas, residence director of Nelson Hall.
For most students, this election represented the first time they were able to vote for the president. Some simply became interested for the first time.
“This is the first presidential election I’ve ever really been in to because Bush really affects my job personally because he supports abstinence programs in schools,” said Adam Paa, senior social work major from Houston.
Jaci Schneider contributed to this report.