US & Canada

US election at a glance: 29 Oct

Day in a Nutshell

Many mostly young and liberal voters streamed into Washington ready to attend a rally hosted by comedians Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert on Saturday. Organisers of their Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear say it is aimed at calming the political discourse ahead of Tuesday's poll.

President Barack Obama returned to the campaign trail to speak at a rally for embattled Democratic Congressman Tom Perriello of Virginia. Vice-President Joe Biden spoke at a rally in Iowa for Democratic Congressman Bruce Braley.

Nevada Republican Senate candidate Sharron Angle banned two local broadcasters from covering her Election Night party. Her campaign is punishing the networks for sending reporters to an airport to ask her questions about unemployment and national security without her permission, the Associated Press reported.

Former President Bill Clinton dismissed reports on Thursday that he had asked Florida Democratic Senate candidate Kendrick Meek to drop out of the race to make space for independent candidate Charlie Crist, the state's governor. Analysts say the governor, who dropped out of the Republican Party, could caucus with Senate Democrats if elected.

In Missouri, Democratic Senate candidate Robin Carnahan said special interest groups were trying to "buy themselves a senator" with millions of dollars in attack adverts launched against her on behalf of Republican Roy Blunt. Mr Blunt, a congressman, pointed out that Ms Carnahan's campaign has benefited from special interest groups' and lobbyists' cash too.

And New York Republican gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino, a wealthy real estate developer, promised if elected to lay off thousands of state employees in a bid to right the state's finances.

Quote - Unquote

"Political season is going to be over soon. And when it does, all of us are going to have a responsibility, Democrats and Republicans, to work together wherever we can to promote jobs and growth," says President Barack Obama,addressing workers at a Maryland metal works.

"The two wars that we are in right now are exactly what we are in," Nevada Republican Senate candidate Sharron Angle says in answer to a reporter who caught her at a Las Vegas airport and asked for her thoughts on the direction of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Key Numbers

A Bloomberg poll indicates that even though President Barack Obama and the Democrats' policies have cut taxes, expanded the economy and made a profit from the much derided bank bail-outs, voters are not giving credit where it is due.

"The public view of the economy is at odds with the facts, and the blame has to go to the Democrats," said analyst J Ann Selzer. "It does not matter much if you make change, if you do not communicate change."

Meanwhile, even as Sarah Palin hints she intends to run for president in 2012, a new ABC poll shows two-thirds of Americans think she is unqualified for the job.

"Palin appears to have gained little lustre from the success of the Tea Party political movement with which she'd aligned," wrote polling analyst Gary Langer. "Just 39% of registered voters see her favourably, the most basic measure of a public figure's popularity."

Daily Picture

Image caption Although he is ahead of Christine O'Donnell in the polls, Delaware Senate candidate Chris Coons, front, could still use a hug from Senator John Kerry

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