Israel is indifferent to the outcome of the US presidential election as the Jewish state will continue to enjoy bipartisan American support irrespective of who wins, Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon told Israel Radio Tuesday morning.
Responding to whether the government believed that a potentially re-empowered US President Barack Obama would apply pressure on Israel to make concessions to the Palestinians, Ayalon stressed that "Israel does not need any pressure in order to make peace or to reach diplomatic agreements."
Ayalon's comments come as Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney face the verdict of US voters on Tuesday, with polls showing them deadlocked in a race that will be decided in a handful of states where it is extraordinarily close.
At least 120 million Americans are expected to vote on giving Obama a second term or replacing him with Romney. Their decision will set the country's course for four years on spending, taxes, healthcare and foreign policy challenges like the rise of China and Iran's nuclear ambitions.
National opinion polls show Obama and Romney in a virtual dead heat, although the Democratic incumbent has a slight advantage in several vital swing states - most notably Ohio - that could give him the 270 electoral votes he needs to win.
Polls will begin to close in Indiana and Kentucky at 6 p.m. EST on Tuesday, with voting ending across the country over the next six hours.
The close presidential race raises fears of a disputed outcome similar to the 2000 election, which was decided by the US Supreme Court. Both campaigns have assembled legal teams to deal with possible voting problems, challenges or recounts.
The balance of power in the US Congress will also be at stake in Senate and House of Representatives races that could impact the outcome of "fiscal cliff" negotiations on spending cuts and tax increases, which kick in at the end of the year unless a deal is reached.
Obama's Democrats are now expected to narrowly hold their Senate majority, while Romney's Republicans are favored to retain House control.
The presidential contest is now likely to be determined by voter turnout - specifically, what combination of Republicans, Democrats, white, minority, young, old and independent voters shows up at polling stations.
Obama and Romney raced through seven battleground states on the final day of campaigning to hammer home their final themes, urge supporters to get to the polls and woo the last remaining undecided voters.
Obama focused on Wisconsin, Ohio and Iowa, the three Midwestern swing states that, barring surprises elsewhere, would give him 270 electoral votes. Romney visited the must-win states of Florida, Virginia and Ohio before finishing in New Hampshire, where he launched his presidential run in June 2011.
After two days of nearly round-the-clock travel, Obama wrapped up his final campaign tour in Des Moines, Iowa. Romney's final day included stops in Florida, Virginia, Ohio and New Hampshire.
The common denominator for both candidates was Ohio, the most critical of the battlegrounds, particularly for Romney. Without the state's 18 electoral votes, the path to victory becomes very narrow for the Republican.
Romney planned to vote at home in Massachusetts on Tuesday morning before a final trip to Ohio and Pennsylvania, a Democratic-leaning state that he has tried to put in play in recent weeks. Obama, who voted in October, will spend the day at his home in Chicago.
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