WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama won Vermont and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney countered with Kentucky Tuesday in a duel for the White House shadowed by a weak economy and high unemployment that crimped middle class dreams for millions.
Romney led in the early popular vote by a margin of 63 percent to 35 percent, unsurprisingly so since many of the early reporting precincts were from reliably Republican Kentucky and Indiana.
Voters also chose a new Congress to serve alongside the man who will be inaugurated president in January, Democrats defending their majority in the Senate, and Republicans in the House. Eleven states picked governors, and ballot measures ranging from gay marriage to gambling dotted ballots.
The economy was rated the top issue by about 60 percent of voters surveyed as they left their polling places. About 4 in 10 said it is on the mend.
More than that said conditions are as bad or getting worse, but a significant fraction said former President George W. Bush bears more of the responsibility than Obama. The survey was conducted for The Associated Press and a group of television networks.
Associated Press writers Julie Pace in Chicago Philip Elliott in Cleveland contributed to this report.