10:53: Well good evening. It's nearly 6PM on the US East Coast, nearly 3PM on the US West Coast and we are about to witness one of the most historic US Presidential elections in history. By tomorrow (hopefully), America shall see that it's about to have it's first black President or it's first female Vice President.
The campaign has been going for two years, has had more spent on it than any other election in US history and is one where, at the time of writing, has witnessed a 66% turnout of voters, one of the highest on record I understand.
The state to watch this evening though is not Florida (the scene of the 2000 debacle), or even Ohio (which has voted for the winner for the past 100 years, save in 1944 and 1976). It's actually the state of Virginia, where the declaration of surrender was signed by Robert E. Lee of the Confederates at the end of the American Civil War. The Polls show a strong support for Obama and it has not been Democrat for over thirty years. If at midnight GMT, which is when it declares, it goes for Obama, then, according to the experts, this will mean the election is game, set, and match to Obama.
Incidentally you may also like to know that the first results came through over twelve hours ago. A small hamlet in New Hampshire. Only 21 voters, and 15 of them for Obama. Not much perhaps, but solidly Republican since 1968 and with the record turnout of voters, with many queuing for hours I think the one safe prediction is that we will get a surprise tomorrow morning. Whether nasty or pleasant depends on your opinion
11:09: Have just seen a report on the BBC from Chicago. Its impressive the amount of young people who have gone out to vote, attending rallies etc.. My thoughts are very much with those campaigners I know there who I helped in March. A bit strange as well to see one or two familiar landscapes where I have been walking some eight months ago
Now then, I don't have any Peter Snow's or Jeremy Paxman's with me, but there is access to the major news channels at home and in the US, and indeed in Europe. Not forgetting Al Jazerra. Am also armed with duvet, radiator, Internet use and caffeine, but heck it's the home comforts which are attractive :-). We shall also be analysing the coverage on other blogs as well.
11:27: Everyone is cautious. That is good, but it is an edge of the seat, waiting for the results time. Matt Fry of the BBC has pointed out how much Obama has learnt in eight years since he was trounced in a Congressional election in 2000 (the first time he ran for national office). Meanwhile on Iain Dale's site, Mike Rouse speculates that if it's an Obama /Biden victory, then the US might just as well be Canada. So?
11:31: My brother has just texted me, giving me a CNN Poll with McCain leading 1 all. Make of that what you can
11:37: Rupert has spoken. Rupert Murdoch has stated his concerns to the BBC about an Obama victory. Well he would wouldn't he! First results from Indiana and Kentucky. Obama 50% McCain 49%, thats from CNN
11:48 BBC Have not mentioned Kentucky or Virginia yet
11:53 Rumours that Fox News has stated Obama has won. This is speculation at the moment, no evidence I know of the Fox has done so
0:04: Polls have closed in six states. BBC Give Electoral College projections McCain 8, Obama 3, with McCain taking Kentucky
0:17: Rumours that Republicans are contesting the close of Polls in Virginia. An interesting sign perhaps. Sky News project an Obama win for Vermont
0:27 Polls are about to close in Ohio, Georgia, and South Carolina. By 1AM we should have a good idea of who the winner will be. Results come through much more quickly in the US than in the UK
0:40: Fox News state that Ohio is "Too close to call", well Fox News might not be the most reliable source of coverage, but who knows..
0:55 Actually trying to make sense of all the info coming forward, it looks like it's going to be close, but again, who knows
1:00: Polls have just closed in 16 states and rumours are that Obama has taken Florida. If he has that would be fantastic
1:12: BBC Projection of Electoral College so far. Obama 103. McCain 34. That is encouraging, but am presently encouraged by the noises from Florida.
1:14 Check out Justin Webb's assessment of Vermont.
1:22 Am concerned by reports that Obama is behind in Virginia, but otherwise happy with the way things seem to be going so far, given the exit polls. Will now crash out for a while, but will be back
04:24 It looks like Obama has nailed it :-). Projected electoral college votes Obama 333, McCain 155. Thats pretty divisive so I think it would be fair for me to say that Obama will be the next US President.
04:27 And he has Ohio and Florida, well thats definetly nailed it then! ;)
04:35 Well I'm signing off. A truly historic day, a monumental one in Global, as well as American history. Time will tell how good a President Obama will have been, but this election was a call for change, for a restoration of confidence, and for a new kind of politics. Let us continue to meet that challenge wherever we are