(CNN) – Minnesota Senate challenger Al Franken is not conceding his race against incumbent GOP Sen. Norm Coleman.
The two men are separated by less than 600 votes with 100 percent of the precincts reporting. The Associated Press called the race for Coleman Wednesday morning.
U.S. Senate Results Map
"Under Minnesota state law, we will now enter into an automatic statewide canvass and recount," Franken said earlier Wednesday.
"The process, dictated by our laws, will be orderly, fair, and will take place within a matter of days. We won't know for a little while who won this race, but at the end of the day, we will know that the voice of the electorate was clearly heard."
UPDATE: The AP has uncalled the race for Coleman
Read Franken's full prepared statement after the jump
(CNN) – Several key races are still undecided Wednesday as ballots continue to be counted.
In the Presidential race, North Carolina, Indiana, and Missouri all show Obama and McCain within one percentage point of each other. All three were previously viewed as critical battleground states for both candidates. However, with Obama leading by 175 electoral votes, the 37 votes no longer hold much sway.
Four seats in the Senate have yet to be determined. As of this morning, Alaska Sen.Ted Stevens was just one percentage point ahead of Democrat Mark Begich and Oregon Senator Gordon Smith had a two point lead on Democrat Jeff Merkley.
In Minnesota Sen. Norm Coleman was 570 votes ahead of Democrat Al Franken. This tight margin falls within Minnesota's recount law, and a recount is now scheduled to take place from mid-November through early December.
Georgia Senator Saxby Chambliss had a four point lead over democrat Jim Martin. Although Georgia’s incumbent leads by four points, state law dictates that in order to win the seat, a candidate must attain over 50 percent of the vote. If this does not happen, an automatic runoff will be held between the top two contenders in early December.
With the Democrats currently holding 56 seats in Senate, these four states will determine whether or not the Democrats reach their goal of a filibuster-proof Senate majority.
President-elect Obama and Vice President-elect Biden's Senate seats will also be vacated, but their replacements are still unknown.
(CNN) – Democrats appeared to have padded their 36-seat majority in the U.S. House, defeating a few established Republicans and winning some open contests as they tried to capitalize on an unpopular GOP president.
Democrats clinched a majority and took at least 21 seats from Republicans, with the GOP taking only four from the Democrats, according to CNN projections as of 4 a.m. ET Wednesday.
With winners yet to be called for 12 of the House's 435 seats, Democrats were projected to win 251 seats, with Republicans having 172.
Heading into Election Day, the Democrats had a 235-199 majority. The Democrats' apparent gains Tuesday come two years after they took control of the House - with a gain of 30 seats - after 12 years in the minority.
(CNN) - Americans hit the polls Tuesday in numbers that officials across the country believed would shatter election turnout records.
Although more than 24.4 million people had already cast early or absentee ballots by Monday, the continued high volume of voters had people across the United States braving long lines.
"People were there in the rain, in the cold, with their children. People close to the 100-year-mark, with their walkers and their chairs," said Elmira N. Luckey, a mental health counselor who voted in Richmond, Virginia.
Luckey said she heard some people in the line complain about the rain, but added all those complaints were followed up with "But I'm here, and I'm gonna stay here."
BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) - Thousands of miles removed from their hometown polling stations, American soldiers in Iraq watched a historic U.S. presidential election unfold Tuesday evening.
Tuning in at a forward operating base in southern Baghdad, soldiers watched on big screen televisions as Democrat Barack Obama was elected the 44th president of the United States and the first African-American to hold the nation's highest office.
"Amazing", said U.S. Army Sgt. Melissa Quereau. "I'm shaking I'm so excited. History right there. History being made right now."
Strict military rules that keep partisan debates private could not hide many soldiers' intense interest in Tuesday's election.
Watch: U.S. troops following election
"It is a critical election", U.S. Marine Corps spokesman Cameron Renner said in Baghdad. "The changing parties can dramatically affect the events that happen to us out here in this combat zone".
Obama, who was opposed to the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, has called for a withdrawal of all combat soldiers from Iraq within 16 months.
"Iraq is not the central front in the war on terrorism, and it never has been," he wrote in a New York Times op-ed piece in July.
During his victory speech at Chicago's Grant Park, Obama acknowledged tough foreign policy issues he now inherits.
"Even as we stand here tonight", he said, "we know there are brave Americans waking up in the deserts of Iraq and the mountains of Afghanistan to risk their lives for us."
But back home, Iraq was not America's biggest concern. Sixty-two percent of voters polled Tuesday said the economy was their top election issue, according to early national exit polling.
It was far ahead of the Iraq war, which only 10 percent of polled voters named their top issue.
A majority of those voters voted for Sen. Barack Obama in all but two states, according to early exit polling results.
Meanwhile, in a Shiite neighborhood in southeast Baghdad, seven people were killed and 20 others wounded when a bomb hidden underneath a vegetable cart exploded in a bus station, an official with the Iraqi Interior Ministry told CNN.
The seven were among 19 people killed in violence across Iraq Tuesday.
On Wednesday, Iraqi government spokesman, Ali al-Dabbagh, said he welcomed an Obama presidency.
"The Iraqi government has a true desire to work and cooperate with the elected president in order to achieve the joint interest of the two countries, preserve the security and stability of Iraq, insure Iraq's full sovereignty and protect the interests of its people," he said.
– CNN's Phil Black and Mohammed Tawfeeq contributed to this report
(CNN) – Race played less of a role in the presidential election than age, exit polls showed Tuesday.
While Barack Obama will be the nation's first black president, John McCain would have been the oldest person ever elected to the nation's highest office.
Twice as many of those polled on Tuesday said age was an important factor in their vote as those who said race was.
Among those factoring age into their vote, 78 percent went for Obama compared to 21 percent for McCain, exit polls showed.
Those who said race was an important factor voted 55 percent to 44 percent in favor of Obama. But Obama also was the winner by a similar margin among those who said race was not important, "which suggests that race was not a decisive factor in this election," CNN senior political analyst Bill Schneider said.
The economy was the top issue in the election among 62 percent of voters questioned in exit polls on Tuesday.
It was far ahead of the second-place issue, the Iraq war, which was named as the top concern of 10 percent of voters polled.
Those who picked the Iraq war as their top issue voted for Obama in all but two states, according to the early exit polling results.
Health care and terrorism were tied in third place at 9 percent as the issue voters were most concerned about, according to the exit polling. Those who picked terrorism as their top concern overwhelmingly chose McCain.
In early exit polling, first-time voters were breaking overwhelmingly for Obama over McCain by a 72 percent to 27 percent margin.
First-time voters made up 10 percent of the total national electorate in the early polling results.
Many of those polled said they expect a post-election tax increase, with 49 percent predicting their taxes will rise no matter who is elected president. Another 22 percent said taxes will go up only if Obama wins, and 12 percent said taxes will go up only if McCain wins. Only 15 percent said their taxes will stay the same or go down.
A bare majority of those surveyed - 51 percent - think the government should do more to solve problems. Forty-three percent believe the government is doing too much. At the same time, early exit polling shows only a minority of voters - 40 percent - support the $700 billion government plan to assist failing financial companies. Fifty-six percent are opposed.
GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin didn't do well in exit polls. Sixty percent of those polled said the Alaska governor is not qualified to be president, if necessary; 38 percent said she is. That compares with the two-thirds of those polled who said Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Biden is qualified to be president and the 31 percent who said he isn't.
Many voters told the pollsters that they made up their minds early in the campaign season, with 61 percent saying they made up their minds before September, another 13 percent saying they decided in September and 17 percent saying they made their selection last month.
Seven percent of those polled decided whom to support within the last three days.
Exit polling also showed that Democrats who supported Sen. Hillary Clinton during the primaries overwhelmingly voted for Obama in the general election, 84 percent to 15 percent for McCain.
For the poll, more than 16,000 people who had just voted were selected at random to fill out questionnaires.
– CNN's Joe Von Kanel and Hal Quinley contributed to this report.
From CNN's Donn Cost
(CNN) – (CNN) - Democrats are keeping their eyes on a filibuster-proof Senate majority of 60 seats in Tuesday's elections.
The party picked up one seat early in the evening with the projected winner of Virginia's open Senate seat, Democratic former Gov. Mark Warner. Warner will fill the seat of retiring Sen. John Warner, a Republican. The two Warners are not related.
According to CNN's projections, six Democrats have kept their seats. They are Sen. Mark Pryor of Arkansas, vice presidential candidate Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware, Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts, Sen. Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey and Sen. Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia. If Biden is elected vice president, he'll give up his Senate seat, and the state's Democratic governor would appoint a replacement.
So far, four Republicans have held their seats. They are Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma, Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina - John McCain's chief ally in the Senate - and Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee.
(CNN) - Polls in the eastern part of Indiana and Kentucky close at 6 pm ET; in some areas in the western part of those states, they stay open until 7 pm ET. Polls in most of Florida stay open until 7 pm ET — except in some areas of the Florida Panhandle in the western part of the state, where they will remain open until 8 pm ET.
Polls in New Hampshire’s townships will stay open until 7 pm ET this evening; in the state’s cities, that time is 8 pm.
Polls in eastern Kansas, Texas and South Dakota stay open until 8 pm ET; in the western parts of those states, they remain open until 9 pm ET.
In eastern Michigan, polls stay open until 8 pm; in some areas of the western part of the state, they stay open until 9 pm ET.
Most North Dakota polls stay open until 8 pm ET; but in some areas, including the western part of the state, they will be open until 9 pm ET.
In Southern Idaho, the polls stay open until 10 pm ET. In the northern part of the state, that time is 11 pm ET.
In eastern Oregon, polls will be open until 10 pm ET, and in western Oregon until 11 pm ET.
And in Sarah Palin’s home state of Alaska, voters in the eastern part of the state will be able to weigh in until midnight. In a small part of western Alaska, polls will remain open until 1 a.m. ET Wednesday.
If you live in any of these areas, please check with your local board of elections or Secretary of State to find the correct closing times for your polling locations.
(CNN) - Sen. Barack Obama told CNN Friday that turning around the economy and energy independence are his top priorities for 2009 if elected president.
In an interview with Wolf Blitzer in Des Moines, Iowa, Obama was asked to name his top priority from a list of issues, including taxes, health care, education, energy policy and immigration.
"[The] top priority may not be any of those five. It may be continuing to stabilize the financial system. We don't know yet what's gonna happen in January," he said. "None of this can be accomplished if we continue to see a potential meltdown in the banking system and financial system. So that's priority number one - making sure the plumbing works."
Obama said priority number 2 is energy independence:
"We have to seize this moment because it's not just an energy independence issue, it's also a national security issue and it's a jobs issue. We can create five million new green energy jobs ..."
You can watch the full interview on ‘The Situation Room’ at 6 p.m. ET.
(CNN) – It's Halloween on Friday, but campaign aides to Barack Obama and John McCain may be spooked for another reason: Events that dominated the news in the dwindling days before the previous two presidential elections may have been game-changers.
Aides to Sen. John Kerry were increasingly confident of victory four days before the 2004 election, believing the Massachusetts senator performed strongly in three debates with President Bush and was buoyed by polls showing a last-minute surge for the Democratic ticket.
But that was before Osama bin Laden weighed in.
On Friday, October 29, the 9/11 mastermind released a videotape to Arab television network al-Jazeera, in which he condemned President Bush's response to the 9/11 attacks and told the American people, "Your security is in your own hands."