Welcome to the FiveThirtyEight live blog for election night 2012. We’ve deliberately started this a little late, such that we might focus on the actual returns as they begin to come in — and not on exit polls, which do not always present a reliable take on the race. Virginia closed its polls at 7 p.m, however, and Ohio will be closing at 7:30, so we’re going to have some real data to look at very soon. In fact, we will be running an update periodically throughout the night, called our “livecast,” which will adjust our final FiveThirtyEight pre-election forecast based on the actual returns as they come in. — Nate Silver
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