Watch as America decides

6 November 2012

Scenes from the US Studies Centre's 2008 election event in Manning Bar.
Scenes from the US Studies Centre's 2008 election event in Manning Bar.

After months of campaigning, more than a billion dollars spent and a rollercoaster ride of public opinion, Americans are finally heading to the polls to pick the President of the United States this Tuesday.

As results start coming in on Wednesday morning in Australia, the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, in partnership with CNN International, will be hosting an Election Day Spectacular starting at 10am at Manning Bar. With live coverage of the results, American themed food, and prizes on offer throughout the day, the event promises to be the best seat in the house to watch America decide its leader.

As election day looms, polling remains divided with President Barack Obama retaining a slight lead in the electoral college (the state-based voting system which determines the winner) but the popular vote looking much closer.

Lindsay Gumley, 24, a dual American-Australian who voted for the first time in 2008 said she was more nervous than four years ago. "It's going to be a lot tighter this time, so I'm going to be glued to the big screen following the results," she said. "I'm still backing Obama, though."

Gumley, who attended the Centre's event four years ago and will be there this year, thinks the 2012 election is even important than Barack Obama's historic victory in 2008. "He needs another term to complete what he started," she said. "Considering how tight the result may be, he'll need all the help he can get."

After the devastating Hurricane Sandy temporarily suspended the race last week, both President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney have been feverishly campaigning in battleground states Ohio and Florida in the lead up to polling day.

After a lackluster performance by Obama in the first Presidential debate, Romney drew neck-and-neck with the President in the polls, with some giving him an advantage over his Democratic rival. But as election day draws closer, Obama appears to be opening up a slight lead in the crucial swing states.

Dr David Smith, a lecturer in US politics and foreign policy, says that with most states already safely voting Republican or Democrat, watching the polls in battleground states will be the best guide to the result. "Ohio, Florida and Virginia are the key states to watch", he says. "Romney must secure all three of them to win the crucial 270 electoral college votes needed to claim the White House while Obama only needs one".

Event details

What: Election Day Spectacular 

When: 10am to 5pm, Wednesday 7 November

Where: Manning Bar, Manning Road, Camperdown Campus

Cost: $12, concession $8

Tickets will be available at the door. For more information register on the US Studies Centre Election '12 Watch website. 

Follow University of Sydney Media on Twitter

Media enquiries: Max Halden, 9036 9137,