U.K. News Media Put Spotlight on U.S. Presidential Election

The Hollywood Reporter
First States Called in Presidential Election
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First States Called in Presidential Election

LONDON –  As U.S. voters hit the polls for the presidential election, the British news media on Tuesday put the spotlight on the showdown, with most outlets emphasizing that the race was "too close to call."

The BBC dispatched its main news anchor, Huw Edwards, off to the U.S. to lead its team of journalists in the coverage, which will include a live results show this evening in the U.K. as the voting comes to a climax and the results begin coming in.

The battle for the U.S. presidency between Democrat Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney has gripped the British media, partly because the race is being billed as neck-and-neck.

The Sun, owned and published by News International, a division of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., scented a return to the White House for Obama, publishing a two-page spread Tuesday that included the headline "GoBama." The tabloid predicted an Obama win, even though Murdoch has in recent days and weeks via Twitter often signaled support for Romney.

Always a home to celebrity, The Sun also carried a story about showbiz names such as Jay Z, Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan giving Obama a boost as the polls opened.

Arch rival tabloid The Mirror, has a live, running election section on its site, with the left-leaning newspaper claiming Obama to be "just ahead and no more."

The Independent, the U.K. national newspaper which aims to maintain political neutrality, introduced its coverage early Tuesday with the headline "Obama scents victory but has he done enough?”

And The Times, another part of Murdoch's British newspaper empire, reflected on the emotional end to the campaigning as voting finally got under way with a picture of Obama's tears on the hustings.

The extensive coverage in The Telegraph, a traditionally right-leaning broadsheet, included a report about the wishlist from the U.K.'s political establishment following the winner being declared.

It pointed to the fact that British prime minister David Cameron might face more difficulty should Romney win following the pair's very public exchange of views on the eve of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Romney had expressed on US television that there were "disconcerting" signs about Britain's readiness to host the Games, just a day before the event was due to get underway.

It is also widely noted across the media that this presidential campaign is the most costly ever mounted by the candidates.

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