US & Canada

US election at a glance: 27 Oct

Day in a Nutshell

The official separation of church and state became an issue in a Colorado US Senate race, after a video surfaced of Republican candidate Ken Buck telling a group of Republicans last year he did not believe the US Constitution mandated it.

A federal judge in Connecticut ruled supporters of Republican Senate candidate Linda McMahon may wear professional wrestling paraphernalia to the polls on Tuesday without violating rules prohibiting electioneering at voting stations. Ms McMahon is the former chief executive of World Wrestling Entertainment, a prominent professional wrestling league.

Although he is off the campaign trail for the second day in a row, President Barack Obama remained busy holding conference calls with Democratic activists.

Vice-President Joe Biden campaigned in Pennsylvania for Democratic Congressional candidate Bryan Lentz.

Candidates for Mr Obama's old US Senate seat from Illinois had a bruising debate. Republican Congressman Mark Kirk called Democratic State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias "immature", while Mr Giannoulias said his opponent was indecisive.

In California, Republican Senate candidate Carly Fiorina was released from hospital, a day after she was admitted for treatment of an infection associated with recent breast cancer surgery.

Quote - Unquote

"I disagree strongly with the concept of separation of church and state. It was not written into the Constitution. While we have a Constitution that is very strong in the sense that we are not going to have a religion that's sanctioned by the government, it doesn't mean that we need to have a separation between government and religion," Colorado Republican Senate candidate Ken Buck fires up a group of Republican Christians in a newly surfaced video from 2009.

"At this point, the TV ads are like wallpaper. People have seen enough of them. It's the ground game that matters at the end of the day," Democratic National Committee chairman Tim Kaine talks about the last days of the campaign and the millions being spent, much of it by outside groups with anonymous funding, on attack adverts.

"The Republican Party is still a tattered brand. It's not as if people are enthusiastically embracing the Republican brand - they're rejecting what has been done the last two years," Michael Franc, a former Republican House aide, tells the Associated Press as Republicans plan their agenda for the next two years.

Key Numbers

More than a quarter of registered voters planned to cast a ballot before election day, according to a Gallup poll. The poll found older voters and those in the western states were more likely to vote early, which is allowed in more than half the 50 US states.

The findings "certainly suggest the election is already over - or will be within the next several days - for a significant number of residents in the western part of the country", pollster Frank Newport wrote.

Daily Picture

Image caption Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman wears out the shoe leather at a campaign stop in California. Polls show her trailing Democrat Jerry Brown.

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