Obama takes NH, Pa., trails in electoral count

DAVID ESPO
Associated Press
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President Barack Obama calls out to people outside a campaign office in Chicago, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012, after a visit with volunteers on the morning of the 2012 election. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney swapped hard-fought battleground states Tuesday night in a tense duel for the White House shadowed by a weak economy and high unemployment that crimped the middle class dreams of millions.

Obama won New Hampshire, and Romney put North Carolina in his column, the first two of nine battleground states to fall.

The rest of the pivotal states were anything but settled — Ohio, Virginia and Florida among them — with long lines in some locations hours after poll-close time. Romney led in the national popular vote with 40 million votes, or 50 percent. Obama had 34.4 million, or 48 percent, with half of the precincts tallied.