US Election at a glance: 15 Oct

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Day in a Nutshell

The Obama administration announced the US government budget deficit had reached a record $1.3tr (£809.61bn) for the fiscal year ended September 30.

Although most of the deficit was inherited from President George Bush's administration, the figure is likely to fuel Republican criticisms of Mr Obama's fiscal policies.

President Barack Obama and Vice-President Joe Biden campaigned in Delaware for Democratic Senate Candidate Chris Coons, who faces Republican Christine O'Donnell in the race for Mr Biden's former seat. Later, Mr Biden was to head to Milwaukee in the state of Wisconsin to campaign for Democratic congressional candidates.

Campaign finance reports are due by the end of the day for the third quarter of 2010.

Quote - Unquote

"Unless a bright light is shined on the shadowy activity of these outside groups, people aren't going to know the facts... With their complete lack of transparency, lord knows who's participated in these races," says White House spokesman Bill Burton, about the millions of dollars from undisclosed sources spent this campaign season on adverts attacking Democratic candidates.

"There's not much wrong with him, it's just that he's a Democrat," Republican voter John Jenksexplains why popular West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin is having trouble selling his candidacy for the US Senate.

"We will vigorously enforce [federal drug laws] against those individuals and organizations that possess, manufacture or distribute marijuana for recreational use, even if such activities are permitted under state law," Attorney General Eric Holder warns ahead of an upcoming referendum on marijuana legalisation in California.

Key numbers

A Gallup poll shows Americans trust themselves more than the people they elect to office to make judgements under the US system of democracy. Sixty-nine per cent say they have a "great deal" or a "fair amount" of trust and confidence in "the American people", versus 47% for politicians.

A CNN poll of polls compiled on Friday showed 47% of American likely voters would choose a Republican candidate for Congress, while 41% would opt for a Democrat.

Daily Picture

Image caption,
Vice-President Joe Biden and President Barack Obama campaign in Delaware for Democratic Senate candidate Chris Coons