Fifteen days to go in the race for the White House, and voting is already underway.
The law allows all Americans to vote early, either at special polling stations or by post, although results won’t be announced until election day itself.
Florida has taken on special prominence as Barack Obama tries to maintain his lead in the polls. The state controversially awarded victory to George W Bush eight years ago, and it voted Republican again in 2004.
Now though, the Democrats sense victory. Obama is wooing Florida with Hillary Clinton’s help, but still insisting the race isn’t over:
“We think that the race will tighten because that is what happens, at the end of campaigns, they always have, even when there are substantial leads,” he said. “And in each of these battleground states, you have got a lot of close races. One of the messages that I have had to tell my team is that we do not let up.”
It all makes miserable reading for John McCain – behind in the polls, outgunned in fund-raising, and forced to defend states where he should be ahead.
His running-mate Sarah Palin has even questioned his campaign strategy, and some say she is already preparing her own White House run in four years’ time.