Assuming all goes smoothly, the United States and the world should wake up on 5 November knowing the name of the 44th president of the United States. Either Barack Hussein Obama, junior senator from Illinois, or John Sidney McCain III, senior senator from Arizona, will take the reins of a country embroiled in conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, the large-scale collapse of its banking system, the danger of a global recession and foreign policy challenges unprecedented since the end of the Cold War.

The nine million new voters who have registered to participate in this election put the total number of registered voters at 135 million, compared to 126 million in 2004. The difference amounts to more than three times as many votes as comprised president George W. Bush