The epic race that is the US presidential election has headed into the final straight, with favourite Obama leading the pack but the feisty GOP-trained McCain-Palin team nipping at his heels and refusing to give in. Crikey are donning our best frocks and fascinators for the event, with one eye on the finish line, and the other on the pundits and polls. We sort the thoroughbreds from the nags at our Campaign Crikey live new page and blog, with all the best news, analysis and videos updated throughout the day.

Here’s our daily pick of the best news commentary and analysis, as featured on the Campaign Crikey website:

Pundits weigh in. The Huffington Post rounds-up the big pundits’ predictions. — Huffington Post

What to expect and what to watch. Exit Polls: Take these with a grain of salt. In the states which allow early voting, almost 30 million have already turned out – with big advantages in many states in terms of the proportion of registered Democrats and independents voting over registered Republicans. Obama has “banked”, if you like, a lot of the support he had at the top of the range of his poll results. — Larvatus Prodeo

The campaign’s best moments. One moment I will never forget was Obama’s speech in response to the Wright controversy. Under even ordinary circumstances, to have offered such a transcendent meditation on race and American identity would have been remarkable; to have created it under attack and when his campaign was in grave danger was stunning. — The Arena, Politico

How smart is the American voter? Does it matter whether voters can name the secretary of Defense or whether they know how long a U.S. Senate term is? The important question is not whether voters are ignorant but whether they make sensible choices despite being hazy about the details. (OK, really hazy.) If they do, that’s not stupid — it’s efficient. — Los Angeles Times

The right choice? This election offers particularly dismal prospects for conservatives: the Senate’s most liberal member versus a Republican who combines the worst policies of George W. Bush with an erratic temper and a thinly veiled contempt for the Right. — The American Conservative

To the mountaintop. Word comes that Barack Obama’s grandmother has died. The timing is ridiculous. But think, for a moment, if you will of Madelyn Dunham, a white woman from Kansas, strolling the aisle of a supermarket, or having lunch in a coffee shop, with her grandson–way back at the turn of the 1970s, when such sights were uncommon, even in Hawaii. — Swampland, Time

Time turns Obama grandmother obit into worship fest for Obamessiah. Joe Klein has noted the passing of Sen. Barack Obama’s maternal grandmother in a November 3 blog post at Time magazine’s Swampland blog. While most journalists and political pundits would say a kind word or two and express condolences for the Illinois senator on the passing of his grandmother, Klein used the occasion to heap praises upon Obama and exult in his imminent apotheosis. — NewsBusters

The latest election coverage on the Crikey blogs:

Presidential election minus two daysPoll Bludger

Late polls favour ObamaCorporate Engagement

Obama’s coal fired smoking pistol — Guy Rundle Live

Gov. Palin, I Know Pauline Hanson, and You’re No etc. US Election Blog

The best clips from our US election video wrap — posted daily on the Crikey US election blog:

John McCain on SNL

Is World of Warcraft blue or red?

No Halloween candy for Obama supporters

Peter Fray

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