U.S. mid-term race tightens on the eve of election

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Monday, November 6, 2006

Two polls in the last 24 hours have shown the gap closing in the US Mid term elections. A month ago Gallup had the Democrats 23% ahead in a generic ballot, and now it is 7% amongst registered voters and 4% amongst likely voters.

Up to 100 million Americans go to the polls tomorrow to decide control of Congress in the last two years of George W. Bush's presidency.

With both parties focused now on turning out voters. Bush campaigned in marginal Republican districts in conservative states while the top congressional Democrat campaigned in the left-leaning Northeast.

"Here's the way I see it," Bush told a crowd in Nebraska. "If the Democrats are so good about being the party of the opposition, let's just keep them in the opposition."

Republicans and Democrats have sent out thousands of volunteers in the closest states to work phone banks and canvass neighbourhoods. Both parties also have assembled legal teams for possible challenges.

Republicans repeated their assertion that Democrats would raise taxes and prematurely pull out of Iraq if they controlled Congress.

Iraq has dominated the campaign, and Republicans and Democrats sparred again after Saddam Hussein's conviction and death sentence for crimes against humanity.

"To pull out, to withdraw from this war is losing. The Democrats appear to be content with losing," said Senator Elizabeth Dole, who leads the Senate Republican campaign.