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Welcome to the eye of the storm

Ultimately, this will be a race decided upon by a couple of hundred people in a handful of counties, in 5 states (Florida, Ohio, Nevada, Colorado, Pennsylvania). Everything else would appear to be window dressing right now.

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Dr. James Boys
On 6 November 2012 11:41

So here we are folks. After $2 billion, thousands of miles travelled, hundreds of speeches delivered, far too many rubber-chicken dinners consumed, far too many babies kissed and far too few policies debated, we have arrived at the end of the road.

And that is precisely what this will be for one of the two candidates. All things being equal, the next 24 hours will reveal who will be in the White House for the next four years and who will be reliving every lost opportunity that occurred in the crazy roller coaster ride that was Campaign 2012.

Make no mistake, its going to be hell for whomever loses, as this looks like going down to the wire.

Largely unreported is the fact that in so doing, Romney has staged a remarkable comeback. Not so very long ago his campaign was dormant and Obama was seen to be cruising to an easy victory.

On the eve of Election Day, however, Romney goes into November 6 with a shot at the title. Despite the reports that Obama is ahead everywhere that counts, the margins are miniscule and it is possible that a great many people will have copious amounts of egg on their faces if Romney pulls this off.

Ultimately, this will be a race decided upon by a couple of hundred people in a handful of counties, in 5 states (Florida, Ohio, Nevada, Colorado, Pennsylvania). Everything else would appear to be window dressing right now.

A Romney victory will be akin to Truman’s unlikely triumph in 1948 and would prove to be a wake-up call to those Europeans who claim to understand the United States. All too often, and I have experienced this widely in recent months, Europeans base their expectations of the US on their own experiences in New York, LA and Boston. These are great towns, but are no more representative of the US as a whole than London is of the UK.

So, as the 55-57% of Americans who will bother to vote prepare to exercise their right to do so, the rest of the world waits in anticipation of what will transpire. Of course, it is entirely possible that we may still be waiting for a result in 36 hours.

The complexities of the United States voting laws being what they are, the potential for legal challenges and complications over early voting, absentee ballots and any number of issues could turn this election from the hands of the voters and into the realm of the lawyers, the only group of people more routinely loathed than politicians!

Could we have a split decision with one candidate winning the popular vote and another taking the Electoral College and therefore the presidency? It’s a possibility with the numbers this close. Personally I hope we get a clear decision. We live in a time of great possibility, but it requires leadership. With luck, it will emerge from the ballot in the coming hours. 

 

Dr. James D. Boys is a Contributing Editor to The Commentator. He is a Visiting Senior Research Fellow at King's College London, Associate Professor of International Political Studies at Richmond University in London and a Senior Research Fellow at the Global Policy Institute. Visit his website and follow him on Twitter @jamesdboys

Read more on: US2012, US Presidential election 2016, US Presidential election campaign, Romney presidential candidate, barack obama, Mitt Romney vs. Barack Obama, Republican candidate, Democrat Party, and White House
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