US elections: Campaigning to end tonight



Washington: With the US presidential elections just a day away, campaigning will end tonight, bringing down the curtain on several months of high voltage exchange of words between US President Barack Obama and his Republican challenger Mitt Romney.

Continuing with their hectic election campaigning as in the past few days, both the candidates are scheduled to address a series of meetings crisscrossing the battleground States, beginning early in the morning till late in the night.

Obama, 51, and the First Lady Michelle, are scheduled to return to their home town of Chicago, which is also their campaign headquarters

As the election campaign, spread over several months, drew to an end, the domestic issues in particular the economic condition of the country dominated the scene.

Unlike the last two elections wherein the war in Iraq and Afghanistan appeared to dominate the election campaign, foreign policies did not appear much on the agenda this time.

Obama and Romney have had sharp exchange of words on China and its alleged currency policy which is hurting the US economy and also on Obama Administration's policies with regard to Iran, Israel and the Middle East.

But the second presidential debate which focused on foreign policy indicated that the two candidates do not have much difference on this issue at least.

Obama and Romney were in a virtual tie for the popular vote, polls showed, but the incumbent is holding a narrow lead in the key battle ground states which would finally determine the results of the November 6 presidential elections.

"On the final weekend of a fiercely fought presidential campaign, President Obama holds a narrow advantage over Mitt Romney in the crucial contest for the electoral votes needed to win the White House, even as national polls continue to show the candidates in a virtual tie for the popular vote," The Washington Post said.

The latest Washington Post/ABC News polls said Obama and Romney were tied at 48 per cent support from likely voters.

Both the presidential candidates were also deadlocked among independent voters, with each receiving 46 per cent support.

Presidential elections in the US are held under a system in which each state is worth a certain number of electoral votes based on population.

Under this Electoral College System, there are a total of 538 electoral votes available, meaning 270 are required to win.

According to RealClearPolitics's closely watched average of national polls, Obama has a slight edge of point one percentage over Romney.

"President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney enter the final sprint before Election Day essentially deadlocked nationally in what looks set to be one of the closest presidential elections in US history," The Wall Street Journal said.

A new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll of likely voters finds Obama leading his rival by a nose, 48 per cent to 47 per cent, as the two men crisscross the country to rally supporters in the states most likely to decide the outcome.

The race among the two presidential candidates remain equally divided and close in many cases in the key battle ground states numbering about 10, a series of latest polls released, said.

According to Des Moines Register, Obama has a five point lead over Romney in Iowa which has six Electoral College votes.

PTI