Anthony Murnane, Deputy Foreign Editor, is in Washington where he assesses the situation facing the country’s 133 million likely voters on Election Day.

Washington is a bustling city around election time. The world’s media has descended in ‘the Nation’s Capital’ even though the candidates for the White House are usually in another place, their home states watching and waiting for the result.

We congregate on rooftops overlooking the White House where banks of cameras are trained on presenters and reporters as they bring the latest news of the election to the country and the world.

The last minute opinion polls released here within hours of my arrival from Dublin yesterday are giving the incumbent Barack Obama a slight edge with 48% support to Republican Mitt Romney’s 46%.

But those figures are within the margin of error allowed by the polling companies so everything is to play for today.

Both men realise the importance of the swing states in Election 2012 – as many as 14 could be in play – as they criss-crossed the US visiting states like Wisconsin, Ohio, Virginia and Colorado which hold crucial votes in the electoral college.

Mitt Romney is so serious about this challenge that he is adding campaign stops on Election Day itself.

The polls begin to open in the main at 11am Irish time on the east coast, although two small New Hampshire towns compete to be the first votes cast on election day in Dixville Notch and Hart’s Location at 5am Irish time.

The first indications of how it is all playing out will come between midnight and 2am Irish time on Wednesday morning with full coverage from RTÉ News on TV, radio and online.