Barack Obama appears within reach of becoming the nation's first black president. John McCain is hoping for a Truman-beats-Dewey-style upset.
Whoever wins the election Tuesday, the country's 44th president will immediately confront some of the most difficult economic challenges since the Great Depression.
In that effort, he'll almost surely be working with a stronger Democratic majority in Congress, as well as among governors and state legislatures nationwide. Republican incumbents at every level are endangered just eight years after President Bush's election ignited talk of lasting dominance by the GOP.
As the chairman of the Senate Republican campaign effort puts it: "It's a fairly toxic atmosphere out there." And his House counterpart says simply, "We haven't caught very many breaks."
But McCain campaign manager Rick Davis is sounding more upbeat.
He says there could be "the greatest upset since John McCain won the primary."