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Waiting for Election 2012 results: Mood tense at Obama, Romney venues

In Chicago at the Obama venue, the president's supporters are buoyed but hesitant to say he has a lock on the race. In Boston, Romney backers hope the last preelection polls didn't capture all of the GOP nominee's momentum. 

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LEFT: A supporter watches the election results at the election night party for President Barack ObamaTuesday, Nov. 6, 2012, in Chicago.
RIGHT: Nancy French watches voting returns at the election night rally for U.S. Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney in Boston, Massachusetts November 6, 2012.

LEFT: AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast RIGHT: REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi

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In Chicago and Boston, where thousands of invited supporters for President Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney are respectively tracking election results, the mood is both supportive but definitely on edge.

In Chicago, where about 10,000 supporters are at McCormick Place, the city’s lakeside convention center, “the energy is still the same” as it was in 2008 in Grant Park, site of Mr. Obama’s celebratory first Election Night victory. However, Keevin Woods, a former Illinois deputy director for Obama’s campaign four years ago, says he’s “cautiously optimistic, but I realize it’s going to be a tight race.”

Mr. Woods is representative of many at the Chicago rally, where supporters are hesitant to say their candidate has a lock on the race.

"The reality is we know it’s going to be close. Obviously, the latest polling going in today had the president with a slight advantage and with an advantage in the early voting,” says Obama spokeswoman Rachel Racusen. “That said, how late it’s going to be go, we just aren’t taking anything for granted.”

The Obama supporters consist mainly of volunteers from Illinois who worked in surrounding states to get out of the vote. Many here say they were not as active four years ago as they were this election because the stakes are even higher.

“I couldn’t sit back and expect him to win. It’s a real horse race,” says Charles Sven, a substitute teacher from Antioch, Ill.

To borrow from the Democratic campaign slogan four years ago of "hope and change," Romney campaign supporters in Boston were in a mood that could be summarized as "hope for change" – that is, hoping that voters across America on Tuesday have voted for the kind of change that Mr. Romney has been promising to deliver.

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