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USA | Nov 3, 2020

Trump and Biden split first states to be called as U.S. polls begin to close

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U.S. President Donald Trump greets staff members while his son in-law and senior advisor Jared Kushner looks on as he visits his presidential campaign headquarters on Election Day in nearby Arlington, Virginia, U.S., November 3, 2020. (Photo: REUTERS/Tom Brenner)

WILMINGTON, Del./WASHINGTON (Reuters)

President Donald Trump and Democratic rival Joe Biden split the first U.S. states to be projected in the White House race on Tuesday, with Trump taking conservative Kentucky and Indiana and Biden taking Democratic-leaning Vermont and Virginia in widely expected results.

As polls began to close in 10 states in an election held amid a pandemic gripping a deeply divided United States, Edison Research projected Trump would win Indiana and the Associated Press called Kentucky for Trump, while Fox News projected Biden would win Vermont and Virginia.

More competitive battlegrounds that could help decide the race, including Georgia and Florida, were still up in the air as polls began to close in parts of both states.

Democratic U.S. presidential nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden.

Voters, many wearing masks and maintaining social-distancing to guard against the spread of the coronavirus, experienced long lines in a few locales and short waits in many other places. There were no signs of disruptions or violence at polling sites, as some officials had feared.

The winner – who may not be determined for days – will lead a nation strained by a pandemic that has killed more than 231,000 people and left millions more jobless, racial tensions and political polarization that has only worsened during a vitriolic campaign.

A third of U.S. voters listed the economy as the issue that mattered most to them when deciding their choice for president while two out of 10 cited COVID-19, according to an Edison Research exit poll on Tuesday.

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