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Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) is on track to become the 44th president of the United States and the first African-American ever to hold the office.

With Obama’s win in Ohio, the paths for victory for Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) have all but disappeared. NBC has also called New Mexico for Obama, a state where Obama led in polls but which McCain still held hopes of winning. Unless McCain is able to win in states where Obama polls well ahead — such as Iowa, Washington or Oregon — and takes all the remaining contested battleground states, he will lose the election.

By losing Pennsylvania earlier in the evening, McCain put himself in a position where he had to win almost all the remaining battleground states. Instead, he lost one of the two he could least afford to lose — Ohio. Florida, the other of the two, remains too close to call. Even if McCain takes states previously viewed as critical, such as Virginia, North Carolina, Arizona, Indiana or Colorado, he is on track to lose.

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