US Election at a glance: 21 Oct

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Day in a Nutshell

President Barack Obama spent the day in Seattle, pressing the case that Democrats' economic policies have benefited American women and campaigning for endangered Democratic Senator Patty Murray of Washington state. Later, he flew to San Francisco for more fundraising and campaigning, continuing the longest campaign trip of his presidency.

Republican Delaware Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell told ABC news that an advert in which she declared "I am not a witch" backfired and had brought more attention to her past statements as an abstinence campaigner and television chat show guest - including an admission she had "dabbled in witchcraft".

Republicans in New Hampshire accused the campaign of Democratic senate candidate Paul Hodes of conducting a "push poll" that spreads negative information about Republican candidate Kelly Ayotte, in the guise of gathering polling data. Republicans said the calls do not disclose their funding source.

Quote - Unquote

"We had to move so fast, we were in such emergency mode, that it was very difficult for us to spend time a lot doing victory laps and advertising exactly what we were doing because we had to move onto the next thing," President Barack Obama acknowledged he had not adequately sold Democratic accomplishments, including healthcare, to the public.

"For my first run at office, I decided to aim low," joked Republican Congressional candidate John Dennis, who is running a long-shot campaign against Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in heavily Democratic San Francisco.

Key numbers

Polling analyst Nate Silver writes that the Republicans' chances of winning control of the US House of Representatives have risen to 75% from 73%, based on his reading of recent surveys. However, he acknowledges, "the uncertainty in the forecast is intrinsically quite high".

Daily Picture

Image caption,
President Barack Obama enjoyed a sweet moment on the campaign trail, when he stopped for donuts on a campaign swing through Seattle. He deemed them "outstanding".