Majority of voters view both candidates unfavorably - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Majority of voters view both candidates unfavorably

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(NBC) -

As millions of Americans headed to the polls Tuesday at the climax of a bitter presidential race, early exit polls showed that a majority of voters had an unfavorable view of both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

About six in 10 voters — 61 percent — said they view the billionaire real estate mogul unfavorably, while only 37 percent viewed him favorably. A majority of voters — 54 percent — said they had an unfavorable view of the former secretary of state, and another 44 percent viewed her favorably.

The numbers appear to underline one of the core themes of the campaign: Both candidates are astoundingly unpopular.

Polls in six states — Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, South Carolina, Vermont and Virginia — begin closing at 7 p.m. ET.

Heading into Election Day, Clinton held a narrow advantage, leading Trump by 4 points in the last NBC/Wall Street Journal poll taken before Tuesday. If elected, Clinton would become the first Commander in Chief.

Trump, the brash political outsider, is trying to shatter expectations and mount a stunning upset. But his path to the 270 electoral votes needed to capture the White House appears to be narrow. Clinton, the former New York senator, has multiple routes to the magic number.

All eyes are on a handful of key battlegrounds — Florida, North Carolina and Ohio among them — that could play an outsize role in selecting the 45th president of the United States.

In a parallel storyline, Democrats and Republicans are battling for control of the Senate. Democrats must net four seats to earn the majority. Republicans are widely expected to keep control of the House of Representatives.

Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, voted at their local polling station in Chappaqua, New York, just after 8 a.m. ET.

"It is the most humbling feeling," the Democratic nominee said. "I'll do the very best I can if I'm fortunate enough to win today."

Trump and his wife, Melania, voted in Manhattan some three hours later.

"We're going to win a lot of states," Trump said in an early-morning interview on FOX News. "Who knows what happens ultimately?"

Meanwhile, some 90 million other Americans were expected to cast ballots, bringing to an end an unusually rancorous and downright wild political drama.

Even before Election Day, some 46 million ballots were cast by early voters and the Democrats were lifted by reports of heavy turnout by Hispanics and women in key states like Nevada and North Carolina.

And despite Trump's repeated claims in recent weeks that the race was "rigged," multiple major city law enforcement agencies told NBC News that Election Day was going smoothly with few problems at the polls, only sporadic reports of voter intimidation, and so far no reports of violence.

Trump has refused to say whether he would concede if he loses, adding another twist to the already dramatic election. His son, Donald Trump Jr., told MSNBC'S "Morning Joe" on Tuesday that his father will concede if the results seem "fair."

The candidates spent the final days of the campaign on a frantic dash through several swing states.

At a massive rally on Philadelphia's Independence Mall on Monday night, Clinton was joined by her husband and daughter, Chelsea. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama introduced their favored candidate, while rock star Bruce Springsteen energized the crowd with soaring ballads.

"We know enough about my opponent, we know who he is," Clinton said to a crowd of more than 33,000. "The real question for us is what kind of country we want to be."

Trump capped his incendiary campaign with a breakneck tour of battlegrounds, including some Rust Belt states where he has made a late push in recent days, eyeing traditionally Democratic strongholds like Michigan and Wisconsin.

"We have to win," Trump said at his final campaign event in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on Monday night. 

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