UK & World News
Election: Neck-And-Neck In Race For White House
Barack Obama looks on course to secure a second term in the White House as Americans cast their votes following a $2bn election campaign - the most expensive in US history.
The president appears to have the narrowest of leads over rival Mitt Romney in a number of critical swing states.
Voters have turned out in force, not least in Mr Obama's home town of Chicago where his supporters boldly predicted his re-election.
"Are you kidding? Obama," said Tim Glisson, 57, as he left a polling station in a school. "I voted for him because of his character, his fairness... just doing the right thing."
"First off, I'm never in my life going to be a Republican," said 64-year-old Sandra Rendrich. "Second, I don't think any president can get done what he need to get done in four years."
Republican Mr Romney and his wife Ann voted in Belmont, Massachusetts, before he headed to Cleveland in Ohio and Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania for a final round of campaigning.
Asked who he voted for, Mr Romney said: "I think you know," adding he felt "very, very good" about his election prospects.
In Cleveland he was joined by running mate Paul Ryan who said his boss was "running on fumes" after a hectic campaign schedule in recent days.
The pair stopped for lunch at Wendy's, where Mr Romney apparently ordered a quarter-pounder, chili and a Frosty.
Mr Obama, who voted earlier in the campaign, has spent the day in his home town of Chicago meeting volunteers and phoning to thank them personally for their help. He will later host a results party.
"I'm looking forward to the results, and I expect that we'll have a good night," Mr Obama told reporters.
"But no matter what happens, I just want to say how much I appreciate everybody who has supported me, everybody who has worked so hard on my behalf.
"And... I want to congratulate governor Romney and his team for a hard-fought race as well."
Vice President Joe Biden cast his ballot in Greenville, Delaware, saying: "It's always a kick."
When asked if he thought it was the last time he would vote for himself, he told reporters: "No, I don't think so."
Mr Biden shook hands with and hugged other voters as he waited. He urged Americans to vote "even if you have to stand in line". He later made a surprise visit to Ohio.
In a possible sign of how tight the race is, the first ballots on election day saw both candidates receive five votes each in the tiny town of Dixville Notch, New Hampshire.
The president wrapped up his electioneering with a rally in Iowa, the state where his 2008 campaign sparked into life, urging calling on Americans to give him a second chance.
"I came back to ask you to help us finish what we started because this is where our movement for change began, right here," he said.
"After all we've fought through together, we cannot give up on change now. We know what real change looks like."
:: Watch full coverage on Sky News as the results come in
The two candidates have criss-crossed a handful of swing states in recent days as they try to energise supporters and secure every last vote. Both have sounded weary and hoarse at times.
The latest 'poll of polls' by RealClearPolitics puts Mr Obama on 48.8% and Mr Romney on 48.1%.
In swing states, Mr Obama had a 2.9% lead in Ohio and was ahead by slimmer margins in Virginia and Colorado. Mr Romney led in Florida.
Other key states include Iowa, Wisconsin, Nevada and Pennsylvania, where Mr Romney poured huge sums into a late run. Between them he and Mr Obama have spent more than $2bn on their campaigns.
The electoral college system and the state polls suggest Mr Obama could be headed toward re-election partly due to his lead in Ohio, according to Ipsos pollster Julia Clark.
Winning the US presidency is not just about the popular vote count but obtaining 270 electoral college votes. They are allocated to each state based on the size of its population.
Ms Clark said: "Obama only needs a couple of these swing states and the data suggests that he'll win one or two of them."
But Mr Romney's advisers have dismissed those polls and believe they have the momentum.
At a rally in New Hampshire on Monday night, Mr Romney said: "Tomorrow is a moment to look into the future and imagine what we can do, to put that past four years behind us and build a new future.
"Walk with me. Tomorrow, we begin a new tomorrow."
The economy has been the key issue in the campaign and both candidates have been driving grassroots efforts to mobilise support.
Mr Romney told them: "We have one job left, and that's to make sure that on election day, we make certain that everybody that's qualified to vote gets out to vote."
If elected, he would be the first Mormon to become US president.
In the last few days of campaigning, Mr Obama was accompanied by stars including Bruce Springsteen and Jay-Z, with former president Bill Clinton putting in appearances.
Both campaigns have victory rallies lined up, Mr Obama in Chicago and Mr Romney in Boston, where he has his HQ. The candidates will address the nation once the results are known.
what do you think?
"Tomorrow we begin a new tomorrow" what on earth is that? Queens English?!
Who cares they are only the puppets to the bankers and arms dealers.
what a choice! Vote for BS it comes with either party
Fundamentalist christians should be barred from public office in a liberal secular society. . We dont need the most powerfull man in the world to believe this planet is only 6000 years old. As well as believing the book of Revelations should be taken literally
A better idea ; bar secular liberals from holding office. because of them, the most powerful man in the world soon wont be and when he is not you may be hoping for The Book of Revelations to come true yourself.
I do hope the book of Revelations comes true Edgar! Then Lilith (Mother Nature herself - Adam's first wife) will emerge from the Red Sea on a scarlet hydra, dressed in imperial purple and crimson, holding a golden chalice filled with all the filth of her adulteries. . So says your bible. . Wow! That's be worth seeing! Who knows? Maybe if I worship her enough with my pagan heart she'll give me a succubus to play with? Yum yum!
People are fully entitled to believe in what they want to and we should just respect that. End of story. However...if you're someone running for the highest public office and you happen to believe we're all rapidly approaching the End of Days, where Gaad calls his faithful into his bosom and rains fire down upon the rest of us, then I think it's my job to not only call that belief into question but try my best to put a stop to you before your crazy trigger finger gets anywhere near the nuclear button. Respect religion? So long as you keep it within the confines of your own skull.
One thing I've noticed about Edgar, he/she is quick to preach and sermonise but as soon as someone challenges the post with alternate theology all we hear is silence. . . Nothing to say Edgar? What a surprise
Fundamentalism of any kind is scary! The "irony" of the UK system is that Church and State are legally bound together to STOP religious fundamentalism. Parliament has much more influence over the Church of England than the other way around. If only our dumanetalist atheists would stop bleating - we have a pretty balanced mechanism for ensuring both liberal democracy and religious tolerance, in a way that the US does not. There will always be people that draw wacky conclusions from religious (or scientific) texts - that doesn't mean we need to throw out everything that is good in order to root out the minority of crackpots..
Stevie, I will reply to any question you put. OK ? shoot --
Talking out of your socialist rear as usual. I don't agree with Romney but he has a perfect right to faith. Many Muslims hold office in this country I don't see you having a go at them.
Edgar - age of our planet? Do succubus visit men at night for their nocturnal emissions? Why has the church tried to hide the fact that Mary Magdelen was christs closest disciple? Why has the christian church murdered witches (the oldest faith) for centuries? Help yourself. . .
Tim - Romney, like anyone else, has the right to faith. But if your faith is that God was an alien from another planet, that one of the tribes of Israel migrated to Missouri, and that Jesus went to visit them after his resurrection, then I would question whether you should be allowed to drive heavy machinary let alone run the most heavily armed country on the planet. Same goes if he were a Muslim.
For what it is worth steve 1. Try refering to Steven Hawkins 2. They have never been to visit me 3. I was not present at the Council of Trent but as far as I know the proceedings are not secret 4.There is no record of our church murdering anyone
Edgar - no record of the christian church murdering anyone? What about all the muslims, jews and other christians murdered during the crusades. What about the 9 million people burnt as witches/wizards between 1000 - 1700 AD? As a pagan I have no argument with individual christians of any denomination and believe Jesus was a kind and gentleman. . But the organized christian churches have commited dreadful crimes, check the history books! Still, at least you did come back to my post. . . So credit where its due. Blessed be
"9 million people burnt as witches/wizards between 1000 - 1700 AD." Really?
Actually why the hell are we all debating when we all agree Obama must retain his presidency? Lol
One of the major differences between the US and the UK is that, whereas in America you need to be religious in order to run for office, over here it's almost an embarrassment if you're found out to be religious (like Tony Blair was). Even more bizarre is that your average American would rather vote in a Mormon, a "religion" founded just over 100 years ago by convicted conman Joseph Smith, rather than an atheist, whose ideas and outlook is based upon sound scientific principles rather than blind faith. To make it even weirder, America, unlike the UK, was founded by secularists - people who believed in the separation of Church and State. As Alanis Morissette would say: Isn't it ironic?
We share a language but that's about it. A very religious militaristic society and really quite alien. Outside the big cities, "liberal" is a dirty word and if you say you are vegetarian and atheist lots of people are bemused
It is definitely alien, especially to us more enlightened Brits. I heard many Americans are against the idea of free healthcare. And the reason?: it sounded like Communism.
"I heard many Americans are against the idea of free healthcare. And the reason?: it sounded like Communism." Very many years ago I saw on television an interview with an 'ordinary' American, and when a NHS style healthcare scheme was mentioned, the vehement reply was: "We don't want no goddamn Communism here!"
It is interesting that the first place to declare a result will be the town of Dicksville Notch up in New Hampshire!
if its that tight ,keep the existing president in ,ie Barack Obama.
I don't give a monkey's if Romney believes the moon is made of green cheese. The fact is he is a dangerous war monger hell bent on trouble with Iran. That should worry everyone no matter what your religious viewpoint. Obama must win for all our sakes
Leave the Iraqis to build their bomb in peace eh ?
The Iraquis? What with?
Romney was right on one thing if nothing else. i.e. that 47% of Americans will vote for anyone who promises to fill their pockets at everyone else's expense, without the slightest regard for what it does to the country. We have the same problem. Here we call them Labour voters.
If Romney has the brains of some of his predecessors he probably voted for Jacob's . Doh!!
only the low life will vote democrat so they will probably win, they shouldn't be allowed to vote if they are claiming benefits.
We mostly agree that 1. Romney is dangerous and 2. Obama must be reelected for everyoness sake.