WASHINGTON, Nov. 3 (UPI) -- The presidential race has come down to Ohio, Iowa and New Mexico, with President Bush ahead but the Democrats saying they will fight for every vote.
Two networks -- Fox and NBC -- projected that Bush won Ohio's 20 electoral votes, while CNN, CBS and ABC said it was too close to call, because of outstanding provisional ballots.
While Bush was poised to declare victory, Democrats were unwilling to concede.
"We will fight for every vote," said Democratic vice presidential nominee John Edwards.
Bush shortly after 5 a.m. decided not to go to the Ronald Reagan International Trade Center to address supporters, but the White House expressed confidence Bush would be declared the winner.
The president's chief of staff, Andrew Card, said Bush had a lead of at least 140,000 votes in Ohio.
"The (Ohio) Secretary of State's Office has informed us this margin is statistically insurmountable, even after provisional ballots are considered," Card said. "So President Bush has won the state of Ohio."
Card said Bush wanted to give Kerry the courtesy of more time to reflect, but would have a statement later Wednesday.
It was unknown exactly how many provisional ballots were outstanding in Ohio. Provisional ballots are given to voters who cannot use regular ballots, and their validity is determined after the election. Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell told CNN the provisional ballots would not be examined until 11 days after the election.
Final results were pending in Iowa, with seven electoral votes, and New Mexico, with five. In Iowa, a breakdown in counting machines and worker fatigue delayed a final count, CNN reported. With 99 percent of the precincts counted, Bush led Kerry by 50 to 49 percent, with Ralph Nader at 1 percent.
In New Mexico, with 99 percent of the precincts reporting, the race was too close to call, the networks said.
Fox projected Bush one electoral vote away from victory -- leading Kerry 269 to 242, with races too close to call in Iowa, New Mexico, Nevada and Wisconsin. NBC had it Bush 269, Kerry 221.
CNN projected Bush led Kerry 254 to 252 electoral votes, which included Kerry's winning Wisconsin's 10 electoral votes and Michigan's 17, and Bush winning Nevada's five.
ABC said there was not enough information to project a winner in Wisconsin, Michigan, New Mexico or Iowa. ABC projected Bush leading Kerry 254 electoral votes to 225. CBS had Bush ahead 254 to 242.
To win, a candidate must get at least 270 out of the 538 electoral votes possible from the 50 states and the District of Columbia.