In the next 24 hours, the US will elect its 44th president if Barack Obama wins a second term and the 45th if Mitt Romney is the victor. Not since the election of George W. Bush in 2000 has a US election gone to the wire. On that occasion, Bush scraped through in controversial circumstances to win by five electoral college votes. Of course, nothing could get tighter than the victory of Rutherford Hayes, who snatched the presidency by one electoral college vote in 1876.
There is a lot riding on this presidency. Not just the US, but the entire world is on the edge of a precipice. Europe is in a perennial state of economic emergency. With China and India seeing growth taper off, the prospects for Asia, too, are dim. Together with the unrest brewing across West Asia, the signals are more than worrying. All of this requires deft handling. Hopefully, the US electorate will throw up a wise choice.