poly report for nov 7

If Mitt Romney's the preacher man, then Barack Obama's the Messiah - at least in Chicago he is.

He's in town and will tonight step up on stage at a convention centre to the deafening roar of hysterical disciples, win or lose, this man is their man.

Chicago is his town, but as a visitor to this city you wouldn't know it. There's not a hoarding with his mug shot on it, and his campaign offices dotted around the city where the Democratic devotees man the phones trying to get them out to vote for him, are unnoticeable.

To find one is to find a small, blue Obama/Biden poster at street level. But several floors above the traffic the phones are running hot, but with the calls going one way, out to those on the party list, encouraging them to get down to the ballot booth.

They did the same four years ago but could only manage to mobilise 57 percent of the eligible voters - 100 million couldn't be bothered taking part in the hoopla. And there seems to be a good reason for that.

The American Presidency isn't won on the popular vote, it's won or lost on the electoral college votes that are allocated to each state depending on how many congressmen they have. And the trouble with that is that most of the country isn't worth campaigning in - their vote's a foregone conclusion. Like Chicago, the bunting and balloons would be wasted.

So the action, the big rallies, the Stevie Wonders and the Bruce Springsteens are trotted out in the dozen states that really matter. They'll decide in the end who moves in or out of the White House.

Tonight we'll know who'll be the leader of the so-called free world.

Mitt Romney, the preacher man who was born with a silver foot in his mouth making his strategists shudder very early in the campaign when he declared that 47 percent of Americans were essentially bludgers on the state and were going to vote for Obama anyway, so forget about them.

Or the golden-tongued Barack Obama, who had Mother Nature on his side, a gift from the heavens last week, and he's the agnostic!

Barry Soper's travelled all the way to the USA with our national carrier Air New Zealand.

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