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The final countdown: Obama and Romney in last push for votes

The candidates are criss-crossing the key battleground states with just hours to go before the US decides on Obama or Romney.

Halloween masks of Mitt Romney and Barack Obama in Illinois last week.
Halloween masks of Mitt Romney and Barack Obama in Illinois last week.
Image: Seth Perlman/AP/Press Association Images

US PRESIDENT BARACK Obama and his Republican challenger Mitt Romney are making a dash across crucial swing states in the final push for votes in the presidential election which takes place tomorrow.

On the last day of campaigning, Obama will hold rallies in Wisconsin, Ohio and Iowa while Romney will go one better, visiting four states including Florida, Virginia, Ohio and New Hampshire.

Almost all polls show the candidates virtually tied or Obama with a slight lead but the closeness of the race is likely to mean it will be a long night before the outcome of the election is known.

Nearly 30 million people have already cast their vote in early polling with various states reporting long queues to vote. Polls across all 50 states will open tomorrow.

The election will come down to a number of key states, among them Ohio where polls indicate Obama has a slight lead although the statistical margin of error means that Romney could take the state and its 18 electoral votes.

A candidate needs 270 electoral votes in order to win.

Republicans have a lock on 191 electoral votes in so-called ‘red states’ in the south and mid-west while Democrats have 186 votes locked in ‘blue states’ in the north-east and west coast of the country.

This leaves 161 votes up for grabs in 13 battleground stages including Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin.

However some analysts put the Democrats on 237 electoral votes through a number of other states that are said to be leaning towards voting for Obama having done so in 2008.

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About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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