Obama carries lead over McCain on election day
As Americans get ready to cast their votes on Tuesday morning in US elections to choose their 44th president, Democratic candidate Barack Obama has emerged as the preferred candidate on election day over Republican John McCain.
Please check out NowPublic's US Election Scan to track real time news about the polls.
Democrat Barack Obama stood at the edge of history, the likely victor in his marathon bid to become America's first black president. Republican John McCain stubbornly promised an underdog upset in Tuesday's election.
Obama and McCain, separated by 25 years and a seemingly unbridgeable political gulf, had agreed on only one thing during the longest presidential campaign in US history, their promise to slam the door on the era of George Bush.
But they were deeply at odds over how to fix the nation's crumbling economy and end the 5 1/2-year war in Iraq, both issues inescapably linked the Bush's eight-year presidency.
Record numbers of Americans were expected at polling stations across the nation adding their ballots to 29 million citizens who had already voted in 30 states.
The early vote tally suggested an advantage for Obama, with official statistics showing Democrats outnumbering Republicans who had already cast ballots in North Carolina, Colorado, Florida and Iowa. All four voted for Bush in 2004.
Plenty of thinking that has gone into the Obama campaign and the pre-election night finale is no exception. His campaign ends in Manassas, Virginia, a few miles south of Washington DC, where the first battle of the Civil War was fought.
Indeed it has been a long strange trip from the cold February day in 2007 when Obama announced his intention to run for president from the steps of the Capitol in Springfield, Illinois. His chances were considered as wispy as his breath-mist that day. A black man in the White House was only in fiction at that point.
Only a little less improbable is the story of John McCain, whose campaign went so broke at one point in time that he fired his closest advisors (because he couldn't pay their salaries) and started flying economy class in commercial airliners -- alone. At 72, he still exhibits the kind of stamina and fighting spirit that tells everyone to not turn off the lights, as much as it tells Obama-philes not to start measuring new drapes for the White House.