So today is the day that the USA goes to the polls.
This time tomorrow we should know who will be in charge of the biggest hoard of nuclear weapons in the world, for the next four years.
The changeover on the other side of the pond is a bit more civilised that in the UK. If Barack Obama wins then he carries on in the White House as before and will be sworn in early in 2013 for another term. If he loses then he will not have to bring the removal people in overnight! He will carry on in a transition period until Mitt Romney, please no (!), takes the reins in January.
This promises to be one of the closest elections in recent years. The result in many states is predictable. Obama will be expected to win in New York and California and Romney in Texas and many of the southern states. The result will ultimately come down to a few marginal states.
Opinion in the UK overwhelmingly favours Obama. According to the Mail Online the margin is 85% to 15% in the UK. The pattern is similar across the world –
Obama remains hugely popular because of his historic win in 2008 and because the world was so relieved to see the back of GW Bush. In fairness we do not have the same insight into domestic issues and this partly explains why it is so close in the USA itself. And Romney has hardly endeared himself over here with his insulting statement that London was not fit to host the Olympics!
Whatever the result I hope that the decision is made by voters and not by the Supreme Court as happened in 2000 when Bush won a finely balanced election despite losing the popular vote –
I still remember the confusion and uncertainty that followed that election. It was bad for the USA and bad for the rest of the world due to the massive influence of American Foreign Policy.
I would prefer a resounding Obama victory. But I would prefer to see Romney win than have the lawyers decide who the people voted for!
So to all our friends over there - have a good day and choose wisely.
It promises to be a late night.