As it happened: Campaign climax

Key points

  • Presidential candidates Barack Obama and Mitt Romney make closing arguments to voters
  • One day before the US goes to the polls, the candidates sprinted through battleground states
  • National opinion polls show them tied, but give Obama a swing-state edge. Times EST (GMT-5)

Live text


  • Adam Blenford 
  • Pia Gadkari 
  • Jude Sheerin 
  • Taylor Brown 

Last updated 6 November 2012


It's been a long campaign, but on Monday it finally comes to an end. Join us here at 1200 EST (1700 GMT) on 5 November for our live updates as the two candidates pitch for votes on the eve of the election.


Welcome to our live coverage on the final frenetic day of campaigning for the US presidential election, with Obama and Romney hurtling neck and neck to the finish line. We'll bring you live updates from our correspondents following both candidates, as well as a selection of the best photos, tweets and your emails.


Obama's just taken to the stage at a rally in Madison, Wisconsin. But Romney was first out of the gate this morning, appearing in Sanford, Florida. Here's the rivals' eye-watering campaign diary today:



The BBC's Helena Merriman, in Wisconsin with the Obama campaign, says the Democratic incumbent's staff are recruiting volunteers even now - attendees at the rally have been given volunteer cards and urged to go out and speak to voters today "and keep Wisconsin blue".


While Obama's at his first rally of the day, Romney heads to Virginia for stop number two. Here, the Republican boards his campaign plane, playfully dubbed Hair Force One by wife Ann in a nod to his matinee-idol 'do:

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney waves to supporters as he walks to his campaign plane after a campaign rally at the airport in Sanford, Florida 5 November 2012


Ian Pannell, BBC News, Sanford, Florida

tweets earlier from Romney's first stop: "Romney energetic in Fl as he closes - 'the door to a brighter future is open to us, I need your vote'"


Here's the confusing bit. It's not the US popular vote that decides who becomes president. Instead, the result is determined by the electoral college, which apportions votes to states based on a mix of population and congressional representation. Still with us? Good. Whoever wins 270 electoral college votes becomes president. And that's why the candidates focus almost exclusively on key states that don't reliably vote for one party. Our battleground states graphic explains more.


The BBC's Michelle Fleury in New York says there was cautiousness on Wall Street this morning as the markets opened a tad lower. Stocks are currently hovering around break-even.


After a manic last 24 hours of campaigning, the rivals were expected to spend Tuesday at their HQs, awaiting results. Or not. Romney aides tell US media they're considering a last-minute effort in Ohio - deemed a must-win for Mr Romney. Here's voters in Columbus, Ohio, on Monday doing their thing.

Voters wait in line to cast their ballots at the Franklin County in-person absentee voting location in Columbus, Ohio 5 November 2012


At his stump speech in Madison, Wisconsin, Obama tells supporters that while progress has been made, there's much more to do. The crowd cheers: "Four more years". Rock legend Bruce Springsteen appears on stage with the president, joking, "that first [presidential] debate really freaked me out."