2008/11/04

The longest presidential campaign in US history ended this morning with long voting queues developing before breakfast in a precursor of what officials expect to be record turnout.

Barack Obama made his final appeal last night to a Virginia crowd estimated at 90,000, while John McCain ended his election-eve sprint in his home state of Arizona at 3am. Conscious of likely polling delays, voters in several US states began queuing up to make their choice before the sun rose. Voters in some areas of Virginia were forming lines from 4am, two hours before the polls opened.
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Most national and state polls show the Democrat poised for a decisive victory in the race to capture 270 of the 538 electoral votes required to take the White House.
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Officials are prepared for a record voter turnout, expecting as many as 140 million Americans to come out for Obama and McCain. The previous turnout high was 121 million voters, reached four years ago. in guardian.co.uk (November 04 2008 14.01 GMT)

Might Afghanistan be the point at which Europe calls an end to fighting wars declared in Washington? Do we risk defeat in Afghanistan only because the terrain is tough, or because Nato, without the cold war enemy, is unsustainable? This question, lurking since the collapse of communism, will be posed with some urgency, whether Europe finds itself dealing with Obamaland or McCainia. The paradox is that a more congenial and communicative partner could foster straighter talking – and with it mutual recognition that it may be time for our two destinies to move apart. Mary Dejevsky in independent.co.uk, 4 November 2008 (Photo: REUTERS/JASON REED. Obama speaks during his final campaign rally before the US presidential election in Manassas, Virginia, 3 November / November 5 photo's from independent.co.uk )

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