American voters have come out in what appears to be record numbers to choose the 44th President of the United States. It has been a long and bitter struggle for the White House.
At least 130 million people are expected to cast their vote for the successor to Republican President George W Bush.
With the US economy in turmoil, analysts predict voter turn-out will be the highest in decades. In Manhattan long queues formed at polling stations as soon as they opened at six o’clock in the morning, and there were similar scenes elsewhere.
New state surveys show Obama in front in five of eight key battleground states.
He has a one point lead in Florida, a two point advantage in Ohio, and even bigger leads in Virginia and Nevada, four states all won by George Bush in the last election.
Crowds of McCain and Obama supporters are gathering in Times Square in New York, shoulder to shoulder, all awaiting the outcome of an election that promises historic change whoever the winner may be. Both candidates pledge to put a stop to Washington’s old school ways.
Obama wants to spread the wealth. McCain says he will create the wealth.
Already the first indicator is in, with the tiny New Hampshire village of Dixville Notch in Coos county near the Canadian border returning a vote in favour of Barack Obama.
In every presidential contest since 1960 the small number of registered voters there have favoured Republican candidates.
But this time it was different. The 21 eligible voters returned a result of 16-5 in favour of Obama.