updated 11/5/2004 11:28:48 AM ET 2004-11-05T16:28:48

President Bush won the Iowa vote Friday, after enough absentee ballots were counted to declare victory.

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Although Democratic Sen. John Kerry had already conceded the race for the White House on Wednesday, the counting of absentee ballots continued in Iowa, which had been too close to call.

By Friday, Bush had 745,980 votes and Kerry had 732,764 with the number of outstanding ballots too few to change the outcome.

Long after the polls closed on Tuesday, Bush won Ohio, which gave him the 270 electoral votes necessary for a second term, New Mexico and Wisconsin.

With Iowa decided, Bush had 286 electoral votes and Kerry 252.

In 2000, Democrat Al Gore won Iowa and New Mexico, which went for Bush this year. The only Democratic switch was New Hampshire, which went for Bush in 2000.

Iowa will not certify the results until Nov. 29.

Kerry began campaigning in Iowa nearly three years ago. His surprising win in the Jan. 19 caucuses over a slate of eight other candidates gave him the momentum to claim the Democratic nomination.

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