A race to the finish

The scenario for this presidential campaign was sketched out quickly following Mitt Romney's victory in the Republican presidential primaries earlier this year.

Romney would run on a hard-right platform that promised to rebuild a shattered economy with a combination of tax and spending cuts, that opposed the Affordable Care Act and that pledged a return to what party faithful call traditional conservative values. President Barack Obama, the Democratic incumbent, would run as the more experienced candidate whose steady hand and broad vision saved the United States from economic peril and whose policies promise a brighter and more stable future for ordinary American families.

While the basic outline of the campaign that concludes today was predictable, what has transpired since the primaries has been anything but certain. Momentum has changed, polls have see-sawed and the today's election, according to many prognosticators, remains fairly close or even too close to call.