Election dispatch: Stage set for a glitzy end to a bitter campaign
- Credit: AP
The stage is set. In the New York convention centre on the banks of the Hudson River yesterday contractors were putting the finishing touches to the Hillary Clinton election night party with pop star Katy Perry blasting out of the sound system.
Even preparations in a US election are full of razzmatazz.
New Yorkers are braced for a spectacle. Their city will be the place where the powerful US networks fill in the now familiar electoral map with red and blue through the early hours of Wednesday and broadcast it around the world.
The satellite trucks have moved in along with thousands of journalists reporting to a global audience. There has never been so much international interest in this high stakes election.
Millions will be avidly waiting to find out if the United States will elect a woman for the first time, or if enough of its population decides to throw things up in the air and give the so-called 'establishment' a bloody nose by electing a reality TV star who has never held public office.
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The worldwide show tomorrow night will be the culmination of a tetchy and divisive campaign which has rumbled for hundreds of days. US elections are notoriously long.
But today, attention will be elsewhere in the swing states until the polls close for the final time.
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The adrenaline is pumping for sleep deprived volunteers who drop into a hub for few moments to grab some food from a lavish buffet, They will not rest easy until they have gone from door to door making sure they get their supporters out to vote.
Turnout is key.
Clinton knows her fate is in the hands of African American, Asian American and Latino voters – the latter of whom have been largely absent from electoral records in recent years.
There is a hope the weariness with this nasty election will subside long enough. As we left Ohio on Sunday the American Football was about to start. Cleveland Brown and Dallas Cowboy supporters were more interested in the match ahead.
And I had expected to see a sign in every yard as we drove around the state.
A cafe owner tells me that there haven't been so many this year. It could be that in the modern era people make their views known on social media,
It may also be that neither candidate inspires enthusiasm.
Officials in states will also hope that everything goes smoothly. There are fears of voter intimidation and reminders it is illegal to carry a gun and ask people how they are voting at a polling station – amazingly something that is not beyond the realms of possibility in this country.
Clinton will hope that the independents who will decide this election and voted early will not have been swayed by the reopening of the email scandal last week – and dropped again on Sunday. But the Trump supporters are an unknown to political scientists.
Nobody will know until the early hours how strong the factions are and just how angry and mobilised.
And the big question as people go to the polls is what next – regardless of winner.
Visit EDP24 for Adam Aiken's US election column and his state-by-state prediction.