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Win News Special - US Presidential Election 2012 -

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This is Nine's live coverage of the 2012 US presidential election. Good afternoon everyone, Peter Overton here. Welcome to the Nine Network's coverage of the results in the US presidential election. In the next few hours we should know which man will be installed in the White House for the next four years. Democrat and sitting President, Barack Obama, or Republican contender Mitt Romney. As leader of the United States he will effectively be the most powerful man in the western world. Many polls on the East Coast have closed. It will be several hours before the polls close across the time zones on the West Coast. Joining me in the studio, it's a delight to welcome former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. Welcome.Good to be on the program.Tom Switzer, from the US Studies Centre at the University of Sydney. And my colleague here at the Nine Network, Deborah Knight, a I can't rememberer European correspondent, who covered the US presidential election of gush are. We'll cross to -- George W. Bush. We'll Cross to Robert Penfold, who is with Camp Obama in Chicago, and Denham Hitchcock, in Boston. We have Laurie Oakes, and the results as they come in from America's ABC television network. To our studio guests. Mr Rudd, how do you see it, as the polls have closed in some states. I think we have 11 states closed out of 50, as we go to air. A couple of quick calls I made is in nationwide what the Democrats are saying from Washington is that there's nothing they have seen so far presenting surprises for them. The one State they anticipated to lose, which President Barack Obama won last time, Indiana is going to the Republicans. They expected that. President Barack Obama didn't campaign there. Virginia - a hugely important state - the folk I spoke to on the ground in Northern Virginia, which is critical as to whether the President takes the state, because that's where the strongest Democrat vote lies. The turn-out has been super strong - a good sign for the Democrats. There are queues of 2.5 hours to be processed through, despite the fact that the polling booths closed half an hour or an hour ago. Finally, the first take out of Ohio, 35,000 counts taken, the Republicans ahead. No-one knows where the votes are coming from. Democrats are not phased by that. So far the Democrats are quietly confident. Tom Switzer from the US Studies Centre at the University of Sydney. Ohio, has Kevin mentioned. To become the President of Ohio, that's the crucial state.The battle grouped of all battlegrounds. You may recall in 2004 the bush - John Kerry stand-off went to the wire in Ohio. So much so that the winner was not declared until the morning. It's conceivable this may happen in 2012.Deborah Knight, your feelings so far?I think it will be similar to 2004. It will be down to Ohio, and possibly we won't get a result until tomorrow. It's interesting that Obama has two versions of his speech prepared, a victory and concession. Mitt Romney only prepared a victory speech. There is supreme confidence amongst the Republican camps. The fact that Mitt Romney has been out rallying on voting day, which is unusual. You don't usually see the contenders. They take a break from the rallies, and they get-together with the campaign workers. He's been in Pennsylvania, and Ohio. Pennsylvania - it's not clear whether that will go to the Republicans. Democrats are confident there. I think it will be a close result as the polls have been showing. We could be in for a long afternoon and night in the United States.Deb, that is the rant, the cry. It's too close to call - and we have seen that in the polls. I want to brick up Nate Silver, a respected Polster. He's saying the chances of Obama's re- election is 92%, with 315 electoral votes to 223 for Mitt Romney. It's not too close to call.Clear-cut. That is saying this is what will happen. He's well respected.He is, and Nate Silver, from 'The New York Times' represents conventional wisdom in media circles. The national vote is close. It will be a 50/50, 49/49, 48/48 result, one point here or there. What is crucial is the battleground states. The Electoral College that counts. The key for the winner - they need to amass 270 Electoral College out of 538. That's the key. Why Silver is confident, he believes - the polling backs this up - in the crucial battleground states, 10 out of 50 states that are voting, they are more than likely to vote for the President.Laurie Oakes, what is your feeling, your read on this as we go to air - your interest, your passion?I'm certainly interested, as are all Australians. Something like 70% of Australians in the recent poll I saw want Barack Obama to win. Poor old Mitt Romney doesn't crack double figures in this country. Just as well he's not running here. Judging from the polls, it looks like Obama. I would bet, getting back to what Deb was saying, I bet someone in Mitt Romney's camp is preparing a concession speech. He won't go into that blind.You mentioned 70% of Australians want Barack Obama to win. He visited to Australia, and the reaction was charismatic person, and the reaction was strong. A global poll - this is from 'The Daily Mail' in the United Kingdom. They surveyed many people, and the overwelcoming man wanted in the White House is Barack Obama. Interesting times. Interesting polls. As Tom said, it's down to the Electoral College, and the 270 Electoral College votes is the magic number. When you look at a map. Whilst it's dominant in terms of red Republican colours, and blue for the Democrats, it's the heavy populated states that have the clout.Each states has members of the Electoral College proportionate to the size of the state, in terms of popularity. Popular states like California, on the West Coast and New York on the East Coast has a lot of Electoral College, whereas states like South Dakoda and Delaware has a small amount of votes. It gets back to the 10 key battleground states. It's safe to assume 40 states are known to be Republican or Democrat. It will come down to the 10 stakesI think all American pundits have been burnt since 1948, the Truman/Dewy presidential election campaign. No- one will chance their arm. It was a total upset. Today, if Mitt Romney pulls through, it will be in a similar league. I agree with Tom, in the battleground states, everything I have seen, bar one or two, it looks like the on the ground work by the Democrats, knowing who their candidate is, that's the critical difference. The President is up for a reelect. The Republicans don't know who the candidates will be until after the election.It depends on turn out. In the United States it's not compulsory to vote. In 2008 there was a large democratic turn out, by about 10 points it exceeded the Republican turn out. If it happens today, it's all over, red rover. The Republicans on the ground feel more energised, energetic, committed to their candidate. That is why it's tough to predict. The other thing to bear in mind it the important independents, 25-30% of the electorate. They flip and flop. Most of the polling evidence indicates that they are leaning towards Mitt Romney. That could be crucial when it comes down to the wire.It's interesting the effort parties are making to get people to the booths. They'll bring in buses, ferrying voters to calf their vote. They get the register -- to cast their vote. They get the registered people to do that. We have seen the storms, and cold temperatures. Long lines - we have seen voters waiting for hours in Florida, and Virginia, some walked away, turned away. It shows there's an enthusiasm and drive for people to get out and cast a vote, which is heartening for Australians. Our system - it is hard to comprehend sometimes that people don't bother to vote in the US.Can you imagine an Australian queueing for 2.5 hours.There'd be a riot, revolution and the government would fall.It can take ugg 10-15 minutes to read the ballot -- take you 10-15 minutes to read the ballot. 45 minutes some are taking, it's more lengthy. Voters have been pouring in to polling booths, it's a strong turn out. In some states people are allowed to vote a month early. The President took advantage, voting two weeks early at a polling centre in Chicago. Like any other citizen, he had to show his ID, joking that the photo on the driver's licence doesn't show as much grey hair as now. The 2008 photo to the 2012 version of Barack Obama - you can see what the President's office has done. Kevin Rudd, you look good. Last time nearly 30% of the votes were cast before Election Day. Mitt Romney and his wife Ann voted in Massachusetts, today.I have been a lifelong blond.Easier to disguise. I picked up on something you said. You said how the parties worked hard on the ground. And when you are the incumbent you have four years to do it. In Ohio, the auto industry was big, it was on the briping, and Barack Obama saved these people's -- brink, and Barack Obama saved these people's jobs with the stimulus package. Do the voters say "We owe you". It's a bit of that. It's the battleground of battlegrounds. Within it is the Mercs of the Mercs. It's everything, rural, -- Mercs, of the Mercs, it's everything. Here you have a big policy golfBarack Obama steps in and says "We'll save the auto industry", and did it in a conservative way in terms of overall fiscal way, without digging into details. Mitt Romney said that they shouldn't bail out out the firms. There was an overreach of Mitt Romney in the campaign ads where he went too far and said there were further auto jobs in Ohio heading to China. Which local auto manufacturers refuted. It's not been good for him in Ohio. Exit polls coming out of Florida has President Barack Obama on 50 and Mitt Romney on 49. It's tight. There's a degree of caution about exit polling since 2004, when we saw some networks calling the vote and members of John Kerry's camp calling him President Kerry after the exit polling came out.All the bat karma.That's right.Back in Ohio, no Republican has won the presidency without winning Ohio. Kevin is right on the question about the auto bail out. This is why Mitt Romney is struggling. It's a lot of white, working-class, manufacturing workers in the rust- belt states, Michigan going to go Obama for the reason and in Ohio. The counter argument is that there's a lot of suburban voters tilting towards the Democrat Party, these are folks in Cleveland, Cincinnati, Toll eato, column bows and elsewhere in the State of owe - - Columbus, and elsewhere in the State of Ohio. What Mitt Romney loses, like the Howard battlers, the folk that Kevin picked up in 2007. They may go back to the Democratic Party, but the small Liberal moderate suburban voters may go to Mitt Romney. That's why Ohio is exciting.One in eight people living in Ohio are affected in employment terms by the car industry. The negative attack ads going on have been really fierce in Ohio, we have seen the whole Bane capital tarnishing Mitt Romney as a harsh businessman - that took place before the campaigning in other states. It's had an impact on people and affecting opinions.A geko capitalist.The evil has been centred out of Ohio.A friend in Ohio said of evening there's nothing on television apart from negative political ads. You have scheduled programs, 'Young and the Restless' and wall to war political adds.I read figures that they were in the tens of thousands, ads that are placed. They spent $2 billion. Extraordinary.The most spent on an election. There'll be a universal sigh of relief across the United States when the election ends. They won't see et ads any longer.I want to explain in simple terms how Americans choose their President. It's the Electoral College system. Take us through it, Tom.There are 50 state electoral contests throughout the United States. Each state has members that are proportionate in roughness to the size of the state. South Dakota and Delaware, and small states will get a smaller amount of states, larger ones get larger votes. The key is to win 270 votes. The states to watch out for are 10, Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, New Hampshire, Ohio, Iowa, Michigan, Colorado, and Nevada - potentially Pennsylvania. All eyes are on the 10 states, and at this stage most of the available public polling evidence indicates that the President has a buffer albeit just, in those states. It all gets down to turn out.There's 235 million people that vote or of voting age in the United States. Turn out and queues and things like that - it will be interesting at the end to see how the numbers stack up. The face of the electorate is changing. There's 50,000 more Hispanics eligible to vote. What impact will that have? Obama targeted them stronglyThere's a key demographic, the female, ut young, Latino and Hispanic. Colorado, and Florida are important for those votes. In Florida there has been a Republican state with Jed Bush, George Bush's brother being the Governor. The impacts on the Hispanic population will be quite large. In fact, the amount of people born in America, born locally, it's changing. The demographic make-up is changing. The female vote a key issue during the course of the campaign, whether or not who is in charge of female bodies is a key issue with abortion and human rights. Hispanic vote, Colorado and Florida.It's a good point you raise. The Republican Party, according to demographers and political analysts focus on white middle-aged and upper aged people. As the Latino vote increases the white share of the national vote will deline, a lot of Republicans are nervous that their position on illegal immigration will affect the debate.The Republicans have a structural problem. If you count on Anglo white males, frankly the numbers aren't going to be there in the future as the Latino population explodes. What's the current split for lat jeano.70/30.With African Americans, it's 90/10 these are large constituencies. If you put them to one side, if you are the Republican Party, it's difficult to win a majority.The Republican Party is divided. Ronald Reagan and Damien George were open market, open borders, pro-immigration and illegal immigration. Increasingly the Republican Party has been very much a nativeist, tough on illegal immigration, and this hurts with a lot of Hispanic voters.It's interesting that the two groups, with the Hispanic/Latino population and the African-American population - they have been hit hard by the economy, affected with job losses and home foreclosures and they have stuck with the democratic camp. Regardless of the economic impacts, they have stuck with the president. Voting is not compulsory in the United States. Those that do vote recognise it as a privilege as well as a right. Just look at this woman casting her vote on a voting machine in Ohio, delight on her face, democracy well and truly in action. A great essay of the voting system in the US.Or she's in a hanging chat.Hopefully not confusion.Our presidential candidate can live or die on issues dominating a campaign, top of the list for 80% of voters is the economy. What that means most of all is jobs.

economy. What that means most of
all is jobs. By extension, taxes determine the relative prosperity of American families and businesses, post 9/11 national security is on the list with troops in Afghanistan, and Americans fearful with a threat from Iran. President Barack Obama's health care reforms are a bone of contention, as is the vexed question of abortion rites. There's debate on how to protect the environment. To Laurie Oakes in

debate on how to protect the
environment. To Laurie Oakes in Canberra The economy obviously important. How are the candidates handling the issue.Well, it's central to the campaign. It's Mitt Romney's hope that the soft American economy will get him into the White House. But it has been a fierce debate. The Obama starting point, of course, is the stimulus package that he introduced after becoming President in the wake of the global financial crisis. He did cut taxes. He spent a lot of money on stimulus, infrastructure, education, health. Like the athe Rudd Government did here. Mitt Romney has been attacking that, of course, as the Liberals did in Australia - claiming it put the country into debt of the Obama also wants to cut - get rid of George W. Bush's tax cuts for the wealthy. Tax and the economy are mixed in this one debate. Mitt Romney wants to continue Bush's tax cuts for the wealthy. That has been a problem. He was taped in that secret tape where he talked about - he was dismissing the 41% of lower income people. Saying that they weren't his concern in the campaign, an interesting point of this is Obama wants to introduce a Buffett rule, imposing a minimum 30% tax on people arpg a million dollars a year, and ROM -- earning a million dollars a year, and Mitt Romney is opposing that.We move to key issues, Iran, national security, and health care. Take us through those.Well, national security obviously is important for Australia. The Australian government - I think, in fact, both parties in Australia were pleased at the way Obama pivotted American foreign policy so there was an emphasis on this region, the Asia- Pacific region. We saw that when President Barack Obama came to Australia and in the new arrangements for American troops to be based for periods of up to six months in northern Australia. The Australian government has been pressing the Americans to devote more attention to the region, and the concern is that Mitt Romney has within emphasising more the Middle East, particularly Iran. Then there is a concern, I think, in Australia that if he's President, we may be back to square one in terms of American interest in the region. Mitt Romney, though, wants to restore the money that President Barack Obama plans to cut from the Defence Budget. Mitt Romney wants to put an extra $100 million into defence, and I think there is a bit of a difference too on Afghanistan. The Obama policy, like the Australian policy is withdrawal in 2014. I think Mitt Romney is a bit more cautious. He goes along with that, with a Proviso that it will be reassessed on the basis of what is happening on the grouped, on the viz of America's Military commanders. Finally there's a concern that Mitt Romney is more of a hawk, particularly on Iran. Some people are concerned that we are more likely to see conflict under a Mitt Romney presidency.We'll be lacto you Laurie, later in the coverage. Thank you for -- back to you Laurie, later in the coverage. Thank you. There was a wild card in the pack, the superstorm, Sandy. It hit the -- it hit New York days before the polling, and stopped campaigning in its track. Some say it boosted Barack Obama's chances, giving him a perfect opportunity to be presidential, to be Commander- In-Chief and lead his country in a time of crisis. Here is lit of of what he said in the immediate aftermath.I want to thank all the first responders who have been involved in this process - the linesmen, the firefighters, the folks in here shuttleing out people who were supposed to get the hell out and didn't. You know, you have helped to save a lot of lives and property. We need to make sure that everybody who has lost a loved one knows that they are in our thoughts and prayers. I speak for the whole country. My second message is we are here for you. We will not forget. We'll follow up to make sure you get all the help you need until you have rebuilt.President Barack Obama talking about Hurricane Sandy, Superstorm Sandy, a fine line between looking presidential and seen as opportunistic in the face of disaster. Kevin Rudd, did he get it right, did he walk the fine line and did Superstorm Sandy, in a way, help him in the run up to the election?I think you can look at this from three or four different angles. No.1, he's the Commander- In-Chief, Americans respect that. When there's a crisis at home or abroad they back the guy. Secondly, critically, it, therefore, resulted in the debate focusing on this rather than the avalanche of attack ads in both direction which probably helps the encum bansy. That's my judgment, which is the Democrats in office. Here is the big third. I notice you have a leading Republican, Governor Kristie of New Jersey backing the President. Some Republicans regard this as an act of trechry, governor Kristie is defending the people. We saw the Commander-In-Chief do the right thing. That's a big one. And the last one, the whole debate between big and small government in the United States. Governor Romney may have overreached in his statements about the privatisation of what is called FEMA Federal emergency management authority. This, in the middle of the biggest storm to hit the Atlantic coast I think in US history or recorded US history is probably not a good move. In overall terms, I think it's supported the President. The polls demonstrate that. If you go back to last week before the storm hit the United States. Mitt Romney had a 1- point lead according to polls, in the national polls. He's down by 0.5 today. That's a 1.5 difference. It may not seem a lot, but in a tight election it matters. It's the President's point. The President looked presidential, cool, calm. He received crucial bipartisan report from Republican governor, not just Chris Christie.Michael Bloomberg. The Mayor of New York. And the Governor of Virginia, a battleground state. It was a win for the President.He walked the fine line and got it right. We saw with the floods in Queensland, Anna Bligh, the Premier unpopular. Her stocks roes as she handled magnificently the fluz crisis.It can be -- flood crisis. It can be considered opportunistic, but the response of George W. Bush in his time that damaged his standing amongst the electorate and colleagues. It can have the opposite effect. It took the wind out of the Mitt Romney camp sales. They were building momentum, getting positive and the energy was building for their campaign prior to Superstorm Sandy. I think more than anything, the fact that it put a halt to that and meant that here he was handing out relief supplies to people, which was all good and well, and calling for donations affected by the superstorm. But you have the President looking like a President, out there, organising the clean-up, and organising FEMA and he was looking like President material.As an objective factor. If there's a crisis, and there are national disasters, there are decisions made by the executive. You have to make declarations and deploy forces. Not being entirely familiar with how FEMA operates, but in this country decisions have to be made. It's not all a rolling rode show of perceptions, you have to take time, make decisions get the advice and off you go.If Mitt Romney loses, the storm will be blamed as a key factor for the reason why they lost. Otherwise it will fade away into part of the history, if he wins.Bottom line it took him off the front pages, that's what Sandy did. We'll take a break. Social media, what a powerful force that is. You can have your say buy leaving a comment on the Nine News Facebook page. Stay with us, more to come in This program is not captioned. VOICEOVER:
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? Whole come back, everyone, to the Nine network's coverage of the US presidential election. I'm joined by former Prime Minister Rudd Rudd, Tom switser and Deb Knight. Very shortly we will go back to ABC America to get a taste of how things are progressing. Diane Sawyer is hosting. We might go back to her right now.Three more projected winners to give you right now. From Georgia, we are ready to project based on exit policy that Governor Romney has won in Georgia which has voted Republican. In Alabama Governor Romney is the projected winner. In New Jersey President Obama is the projected winner. It was devastated by Superstorm Sandy. We are still awaiting word how many people in the storm zone could show up. But we are ready to predict the winner tonight in New Jersey is President Obama.We still see the north going to President Obama, the south going to Governor Romney. Everything expected as you would see right now. We will keep the call up all night long in the battle ground states that will tip the balance tonight. The vote continues to come in. You see Ohio on the map. About 20% of the vote has now come in Ohio. President Obama has 59% so far, Mitt Romney 40.At this time four years ago Obama had a 33 point lead over John McCain that. Lead is not as big this time around. In Ohio they don't break down the vote by party so we don't know who voted exactly but the President has not built up the kind of lead he had four years ago in the early vote. Still aid head but not as far ahead as he was four years ago. 29 electoral votes in Florida. We all remember what happened in 2000. 56% of the vote has been counted so far. 51% for President Obama and 48% for Mitt Romney. The Romney campaign look at these numbers and they are not discouraged?They say there are still two-hour lines to vote in GOP Countys. Is that breaking must?We do. I love that everyone knows to stop. We are filling in the south here. Another projection based on exit polling. Governor Romney is the projected winner again. A very red state coming in for Governor Romney.You followed that chime well but go back to your point.I'm easily trained. They say in the raw votes - they are a canary in the mine - they are ahead in some of the raw votes in countys that they must win. We talk about Ohio but if Mitt Romney doesn't win Virginia and Florida there won't be anything to talk about. It won't matter in Ohio if he loses Virginia or Florida. They feel like in north Virginia the margin hasn't gotten away from them.You spent several months there for Al Gore. What are you seeing in the returns so far When you say Florida and close I get nervous. In the southern part of the state the democratic strong Howard, Day County, Democrats are performing very well. We're doing well in the so-called I4 corridor. Jacksonville. If we can maintain the numbers we have right now in that part of the state I think it will be a narrow victory but it will be very close and I think President Obama can keep Florida. And if President Obama wins Florida he wins the night. If he wins it he is almost guaranteed it. Let's go to Virginia right now. 26% of the vote has come in so far. Gofr nor Romney opened up a fairly big lead. I want to dig further down and see where the vote is coming. You still see Governor Romney has a lot of strength in the south-west part of the state. And maybe this is a surprise, you look up north in the north east part of the state and you see a lot of red in northern Virginia. That's where President Obama has to be strong.That's very surprising. Something the President's team has to be very concerned about. Ohio doesn't matter unless Romney carries Virginia. And if he is doing well in the northern part of the state he could win Virginia. That's a very big win for him. That's surprising because in all of this demography we have been talking about tonight, this area is high- tech and there are a lot of women and women concerned about social issues.It goes to the point mentioned before, President Obama is trying to straddle two tight ropes, Mobilising different coalitions - coalitions in Sunbelt states like Virginia and Florida, he is relying on a growing population and upscale whites. And in Alabama he is trying to assemble the new deal coalition centred on working class whites. He has two different paths to piece together to get to 270.One county to watch in Virginia is Lowden County in the north. Romney holding a slight lead in early returns.So a true swing county.These are young folk too. This is not a bunch of people worried about people taking away their Medicare cheques. These are young people. Josh is in Times Square. So many people have been gathering there. We remember the thousands from four years ago. Josh?We are certainly on our way there tonight. The crowd is starting to swell as numbers continue to pour in. We have been talking about Florida, what a key win it would be for either campaign. We have some voters here who represent a microcosm of the state and its issues. Joining me is Beth from Florida. Beth, there were so many reasons to have voted for either one or the other. Who did you vote for and why?I voted for Romney. I'm a Christian and I'm pro-life and I like to stand against abortion.So social issue carrying your vote. Our expert have been saying that in a lot of ways married white women may be the key demographic that could swing in one way or another. In the state of Florida specially in the last months of the campaigns as you were bombarded with ads,how covetted did you feel? I don't know. I just knew I needed to vote the way I feel strongly. As a business owner I felt I needed to be on the economy. Romney has the same feeling. That's what I needed to do. Thank you for standing out here. Anderson, I know you voted for President Obama.Yes, I did.In fact, it was something of an epethet that the Mitt Romney used over years now in attacking Obama,it was Obama care. But that was the reason that he got your vote?Yeah. I have private insurance but I had an aunt who passed on thanksgiving day three years ago, from breast cancer. At one point she didn't have insurance and then she did. So I have an emotional link with Obama care. I love it.We're seeing the numbers come in. The a - it's a neck and neck days. Did you have a sense of how close it would be in your state?I got a feeling it's gonna be a good one like a national championship game except it's gonna be politics, not football this time. Again there are so many stories to be told. We've just begun in Times Square.Like a national football game it's 37 degrees out there where you are. Thanks to everybody. Let's check in on Florida.Right now it's out to 57% in. President Obama still holding on to three points, 51 to 48.I love precision tweeting and precision social media. Let's go back to headquarters. Turnout appears to be high in the state of Florida, if the long lines are any indication. We're getting photos from voters like this one. Anthony posting : the population of Florida is a quarter Hispanic. And Coco in Florida tweeting me : Obama supports fair immigration policy and embraces his span nick diversity. But having said that, the overall sentiment for the candidates seems evenly split, dead even over the last seven days with 50% positive and 50% negative. Right down the middle. The White House, the big story.We will leave the American ABC coverage there for the moment. Rudd Rudd, we all said that's a worry when we were talking about Virginia. You just have some information from a friend on the ground over there.In the northern parts of Virginia, I think one of the US commentators said there are a few too many red shadings in the northern part of the state. There is a little bit of concern with folks I have spoken to on the democratic side as to where that will go. But on the other hand there are a huge number of people who still haven't cast a ballot. A report I have just seen that is that local authorities in Virginia have ceased public reporting of polling results in Virginia because there are still so many people to vote. So a question mark in terms of Virginia. Another comment is that they are happy about Florida. He is ahead. Most criticaly they have retained a Senate race there against a Republican challenger. The Republicans threw $175 million to that campaign. If we have held up in terms of the democratic snide floor darbgs then for the Senate race it tends to reflect that the President is going OK as well.The important point is that both Virginia and Florida are states that Mitt Romney must win if he has any chance of moving west to secure those 270 electoral college votes. So it's not a big loss for the President if he loses Virginia. It is an interesting indicator, that northern part of Virginia south of Washington is Liberal progressive moderate voters who look like they are swinging in favour of Mitt Romney. That's what Mitt Romney had hoped for. It would be a real concern for Republicans if they weren't looking good in Virginia. On Twitter, apparently the Obama camp has been tweeting and texting to make sure all voters in those lines get a chance to vote and to ensure they don't leave those long queues, saying every vote is crucial and counts.We will be back soon with Nine's coverage of the US presidential election. Stay with us. 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Welcome back, earn, to the Nine network's coverage of the US presidential election. Our US bureau chief is Robert Penfold, and he has been following the Obama campaign. He is in Chicago where they are hoping it will be party time in a few hours. What is the atmosphere like?The crowd is starting to arrive at the Chicago Convention Centre. Four years ago we were out in Grant Park with 240,000 in the park and surrounding it. We don't have an event of that size tonight. I don't know if Obama was concerned about if he lost what he might do with a big crowd like that or whatever. Thankfully it's inside. Tonight it's very cold outside and it's been raining on and off through the day. This is the convention centre main hall. Over here, this is all the televisions set-up over there. It's a small area between the stage and television set-up over there. In many ways it seems to me as though it's been an event built for television. The crowd will fill in that small area there over behind the camera, which you can't see, more and more people are filing in. There will be 5,000 there by the end of the night. While the Democrats hope to be celebrating here in a couple hours' time - although at this stage there is no indication yet when that result might be. It's been a big day for President Obama sitting and waiting for his friends to see what happens here tonight.Rob, very quickly, how has the President spent the day?He is somewhat superstitious about the day and likes to have a game of pick-up basketball. He sent out an invitation. Being in Chicago he is a big bulls fan and got in Scotty Pippin and a couple of the other guys from the team. He had his first win of the day. Because he. Because he had the players alongside him he did win that match. But otherwise he has been low-key. He wasn't out circulating too much at all. Unlike Mitt Romney, who was travelling today getting more votes in. He has left it to his party to phone around. He did go into the office to make an appearance, to give a sound byte to the cameras and thank workers. He did a few radio interviews but generally low- key. He had a basketball game and had his first win. Now sitting back fingers crossed and hoping for the best. If he does win we expect to see him here some time before mid might. But no indication yet we will. As Deb and others have said, we may be waiting a couple of days for this result. That's certainly the case. I have within through that before in 2000, we waited all night and it never happened. You never know which way this can go. I'm just imagining that phone call to the Chicago bulls, it's the President here, do you want a game on election day. You're on team Obama, I do make myself clear! Denham Hitchcock has just covered super starpl sandy is now he is on the election trail covering Mitt Romney in Boston. They are planning a night of celebration, and why not. But how is the feeling there?Are they planning a celebration or what. I heard Deb say he hasn't written a concession speech. No-one here is expecting to hear one. There is is a little jazz band over my shoulder pumping out tunes. This is a full room. About 500 TV stations are going live. More than 1,000 journalists here. The true believers got here early. The ones in the front barriers got there probably four or five hours ago. They are hoping and willing them on. We're getting regular updates here from the war room. They are projecting a win, saying everything is positive. Even the numbers where the polls are a little down, hang in there Virginia. They are also saying if you have friends still out where policy haven't closed, say Nevada, tell people to get out and make up the numbers. I'm sure they are well aware numbers are tight. They are playing Romney videos back to back. I was at the democratic national convention. These play these things and make them out to be like rock stars. It's incredible, the shots of Romney hugging grandmas, kissing babies,promising to unite people. If you're in this room and you're a Republican there is no doubt in your mind he is gonna win. But of course we know better, and being a cynical journalist you know there are plenty of twists and turns yet to come. I heard you talk about Superstorm Sandy. We came from there. They have a lot of Fox news up here being a Republican room. Bill O'Reilly was on. They were talking a lot about Hurricane Sandy. He was saying very early on all of the exit policy are saying it allowed the President to be presidential and took Romney off the charts for five days. Whether that comes out to mean anything we don't know. But they are saying that the issue of Benghazi and what happened in Libya was pushed to one side because of Santiago Santiago. Whether they are mention - Hurricane Sandy. Craig Romney, one of the sons, we heard a story about Anne Romney in 2008 that when he went for the nomination and didn't get it she said to the family they would never do that again. If they lose tonight they will be heartbroken.I find it interesting the different atmospheres where rob Penfold is with the Barack Obama camp with a silent background and where you are with so much atmosphere behind you. Is that a sign? We will find out over the next few hours. Stay with us. We will be back with This program is not captioned.
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season, against Victoria on Friday. Details tonight, 6:30. This program is not captioned. moment. Welcome back being everyone. Everyone. I'm by Rudd Rudd, Tom Switszer and Deb Knight. US consulate staff in Sydney are settling back at an invitation only party in the city watching as the results come N certainly a red white and blue extravaganza.It's as you said a strictly invitation only event with a guest list of around 200VIPs. Not a single American on the guest list. It's more an international collection of business leaders, politicians and ambassadors. They are being treated to quite a show with plenty of red white and blue around the room. There is a US Air Force band playing and a mock voting booth so ges can feel part of the action. I can see from here the results so far, 60 votes for Obama to 17 for Mitt Romney. But of course the main attraction here is the real result, the broadcast around the room. We have screens broadcasting C NBC, Fox News and CNN. Everyone is glued to those broadcasts at the moment. The event is due to wrap up at 3 pm Sydney time. The organisers are hoping for a result or at least a strong indication of a winner by then. If not, this is just one of many parties across Australia today. There is so much Aussie interest in this tight race for the White House. Thank you, Silvia. We're heading to the top of the hour. It's a critical time. So let's cross to our colleagues at ABC America. They have gone straight to a commercial break as I was about to throw. So Kevin has been on the phone, as has Tom. What are you hearing?It's still way too close in Virginia and Florida. It's conjecture at this stage. It is true that Obama is overwhelmingly far more popular than Mitt Romney not only in Australia but around the world. The only country where Romney might have a lead over Obama is Israel. Why? He is articulate, a good speaker and had a huge impact on the world in 2008. But George Bush really tainted the Republican party in the eyes of the world. There were two costly wars, Iraq and Afghanistan. The financial crisis took place at the end of the Bush Administration. There were feelings in many respects Obama was handed a hospital pass. There is a feeling around the world that Obama is far more popular than any Republican opponent. This is a problem for the Republican party. But if Romney is elected he will have to do a lot of work to improve the image of the Republican paefrt and White House after the debacle of the Bush years. I don't think Bush was mentioned in any campaign.Bill Clinton was very popular. He was seen everywhere, at the convention and Pennsylvania four times in the last three days whereas President Bush was AWOL. We're going to take a break. Still plenty more to come on the