Americans go to the polls in historic election
No matter who wins, history will be made. Polls and early voting indicate Sen. Barack Obama and his running mate, Sen. Joe Biden are the favorites and if that Democratic ticket wins, we will see the first African American elected to the U.S. presidency.
If the Republican ticket of Sen. John McCain and Gov. Sarah Palin win, then we will see the first woman to win in a presidential race and also the oldest person ever elected for a first presidential term.
Although long lines have been reported in some areas, there is evidence that a great many people have already casted their ballots in early voting. Some sent their votes in by mail while others went to early voting stations.
Statistics from voting centers show that the Democrats are doing much better than usual in turning out early voters. This should favor Obama-Biden in most areas although there are key "swing" regions where Democrats are known to vote like independents.
According to the reports of observers from reporters to poll workers, the Obama campaign is outworking the McCain team in getting out voters. Usually it is the Republicans who turnout their voters in larger percentages.
In addition to the presidential race, there is an important battle going on for a possible filibuster-proof majority in the Senate. The Democrats look set to increase their leads in both houses of Congress. Although the Democratic Party would no doubt welcome victories as impressive as polls are suggesting, an overwhelming win could be somewhat of a mixed blessing.
Democrats would inherit a very gloomy-looking economy and two unpopular wars. Obama has pledged to act energetically in withdrawing troops from Iraq, but Afghanistan is quickly becoming a quagmire of its own. And the problems of militants based in Pakistan will challenge a new administration. There is also the growing specter of a new arms race with both Russia and China responding to American strategic moves.
The Associated Press
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Ban Al-Emarah, center, enters her ballot for the general election into a ballot machine as Zainab Al-Zayadi, left, and election worker Hanan Nehmeh look on in Dearborn, Mich., Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2008. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
An election worker (L) examines a ballot at a polling station in Chicago, Illinois November 4, 2008. (Shannon Stapleton/Reuters)
Barack Obama election items are displayed for sale by a street vendor on 125th Street in the Harlem section of New York City, November 4, 2008. REUTERS/Mike Segar (UNITED STATES)