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Presidential race too close to call in Missouri; bellwether status at stake

By AP/KWMU

Jefferson City, Mo. – The rule is that no Democrat can win the White House without winning Missouri, but that may change.

Although the race remained too close to call, Republican John McCain clung to a small advantage in Missouri early this morning over Democrat Barack Obama, who already had locked up a national electoral victory.

With all precincts reporting results, McCain led Obama by 5,853 votes out of more than 2.9 million counted. That's a difference of 0.2 percentage points.

Also outstanding were about 7,000 provisional ballots, which are counted only if a voters' eligibility can be verified.

Since Missouri joined the union in 1821, no Democrat has won the presidency without also receiving the state's vote, though various Republicans have accomplished the feat.

Missouri has sided with the winner of every presidential contest of the last century, except for 1956, when Missourians chose Adlai Stevenson over Dwight D. Eisenhower.

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