President Bush made a final election day campaign stop in the crucial battleground state of Ohio Tuesday. Mr. Bush appeared confident, joking with election workers.
President Bush made the stop in Ohio's capital on his way from Texas, where he cast his ballot early in the morning, back to the White House.
Mr. Bush's last minute visit is recognition of Ohio's critical role in this election. No Republican has ever won the White House without winning in this midwestern state, which has 20 of the 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency. Polls show an extremely tight race, but the president said he was confident of victory.
"I am confident we will carry Ohio," said the president, "and I am confident we will carry the nation."
Ohio's importance as a "battleground" is underscored by the courtroom battle over poll watchers. A three-judge federal court early Tuesday overturned two lower court rulings that would have prevented Republican poll watchers from contesting the eligibility of voters at Ohio polling stations.
Democrats had sought to stop the challenges, calling them an attempt to intimidate voters.
Ohio is one of three large battleground states. The others are Pennsylvania and Florida. Analysts say the winning candidate will have to take two of the three states, all of which public opinion polls say are too close to call.