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Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney speaks during a campaign stop at Jet Machine in Cincinnati, Ohio, Oct 25, 2012. — Photo by Reuters

WASHINGTON, Nov 2: “On Jan 20, Mitt Romney takes the presidential oath of office. Standing close by is his new vice president, Joe Biden,” predicted a story by a prestigious US news agency, Bloomberg.

Although the agency’s owner, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg backed President Barack Obama over Republican Mitt Romney, journalists working for him disagreed.

Mr Bloomberg, a Republican, said he believed the incumbent Democrat would bring critically needed leadership to fight climate change after the East Coast devastation wrought by hurricane Sandy.

The endorsement from the politically independent and nationally recognisable mayor was a major boost for Mr Obama but the Bloomberg article argued the election on Nov 6 might lead to a tie, with both candidates getting 269 electoral votes each.

The tie would trigger the US Constitution’s 12th Amendment, asking Congress to choose the new president and the vice president.

Under this arrangement, the House of Representatives selects the president while the Senate selects the vice president. Since the Republicans are likely to retain the House, they will select Mr Romney.

The Democrats, who are likely to retain the Senate, will then select Mr Biden.

“A Romney-Biden administration is perhaps the oddest potential outcome to what could be a complicated finish to the presidential election,” the article said.

Other media outlets, however, did not share this view.

The Washington Post noted on Friday that some recent developments favoured Mr Obama and therefore he was likely to win.

The latest Washington Post/ABC News poll, found that 79 per cent of voters believed the president had done a “good’ or “excellent” job responding to the storm, Sandy.

Among those voters is New Jersey’s Republican Governor Chris Christie, who made national news with his praise of Mr Obama.

Mayor Bloomberg’s endorsement, the Post noted, would also help the president.

And on Friday morning, the final pre-election jobs report from the US Bureau of Labour Statistics said the economy had blown through expectations to add more than 171,000 jobs in October, and would add 84,000 more jobs in August and September.

“That is, by any measure, a good report, and one that crucially deprives the Romney campaign of ammunition in the final days of the race,” the Post noted.

The New York Times noted that the jobs report showed persistent economic growth.

“None of this makes for a game-changer in the presidential election ... but it appeared to provide some relief for President Obama,” NYT said.

A nationwide USA TODAY/Suffolk University poll, also released on Friday, estimated that 90 million Americans won’t vote this year. Two-thirds of those unlikely voters registered to vote, and 80pc said they believed the government played an important role in their lives. But they also said they would not vote.

Many said they lacked enthusiasm for either candidate.

Although 2008 saw the highest voter turnout in any presidential election since 1960, nearly 80 million eligible voters didn’t go to the polls.

And American voters haven’t broken the 60 pc mark since 1968.

For more special coverage on the US Elections including exclusive blogs, features, comments, analysis and multimedia from correspondents around the world, go to: US Elections 2012 In-depth

Updated Nov 02, 2012 09:02pm

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