A look at the American election by numbers
It has been the most epic election build-up in U.S. history. Here, ZOE BRENNAN picks the surprising statistics that help put it all in perspective.
1 Number of times each candidate visited Britain during the whole campaign, though Obama stayed for fewer than 24 hours.
2 Number of countries Sarah Palin visited before being catapulted to fame and joining the Presidential campaign. They were Mexico and Canada. She has since added Kuwait and Germany to the list.
4 Duration, in minutes, of celebrity heiress Paris Hilton’s spoof video I’m Running For President, her response after McCain used her image in his election adverts, mocking Obama as a lightweight international celebrity.
4.30 Time in the morning that Michelle Obama gets out of bed for her thrice-weekly work-out sessions, which she says help her keep to her ideal weight.
5 Number of years McCain was a prisoner during the Vietnam War, having been shot down in a bombing mission over Hanoi in 1967, two years of which were spent in solitary confinement.
6 Number of minutes Palin chatted unwittingly to a Canadian comedian during a prank radio station call in which he pretended to be French premier Nicolas Sarkozy inviting her on a hunting trip to shoot baby seals.
7 Number of homes, collectively worth $13million, owned by McCain. When asked about his property holdings by reporters, the Senator initially replied ‘I’m not sure, I’ll have to check with my staff’, prompting Obama to label him out of touch.
£8 Price of a ladies’ cotton thong, bearing the election slogan ‘Proud Gun-Toting American Just Like Palin’, which its maker boasted would ‘put an end to panty-lines’ but perhaps not party lines.
£16 Price of a Sarah Palin doll from the website HeroBuilders.com – they come in executive, school girl, ‘hockey mom’ or action hero design, and are proving one of the store’s best-sellers.
18 Number of hours McCain’s last-ditch whirlwind tour of seven key states took, getting out his message: ‘The Mac is back!’ – all the while dressed in his lucky red sweater.
-20C Average temperature during the Palin family’s winter ice-fishing and hiking trips at their Alaskan home.
25 Age difference between Obama and McCain, who are 47 and 72 respectively – the largest ever disparity between candidates.
25 Also the number of years since Palin was named ‘Miss Wasilla’, beauty queen of her home town, dressed in a home-made red ballgown.
37 Length in minutes of Obama’s pivotal A More Perfect Union speech delivered in March, in which he addressed racial tension in America to rapturous applause. It has been dubbed the successor to Martin Luther King’s ‘I have a dream’ speech.
44 Americans are voting for their 44th President, continuing a line begun by George Washington. A presidential term is four years, and a President can serve only two terms.
175 Number of staff the BBC has in place covering the U.S. presidential election, at a cost of tens of thousands of pounds.
£236 Cost of Palin’s trademark sexy-schoolmarm glasses from Japanese designer Kazuo Kawasaki. The company has had to take on extra staff to deal with new demand for the specs.
5ft 11in Michelle Obama’s height. Barack is just two-and-a-half-inches taller, which is why campaign organisers have banned Michelle from wearing high heels next to her husband.
$520 Cost of McCain’s Ferragamo handmade Italian leather shoes, a revelation which undermined his man-of-the-people persona.
1,200lb Average weight of a moose bagged by Palin and her ‘first dude’ husband, Todd, on their now-famous Alaskan hunting trips.
5,084 Number of bottles of ‘Obama beer’ sold by the Half Moon Bay brewing company in Northern California, compared to 1,336 bottles of ‘McCain beer’ – so named because one is light in content, while the other is aged for a long time.
$1.2m Value of the three-storey red brick Obama family home in Chicago. Michelle vetoed a move to Washington DC when her husband went into politics, choosing to live 20 blocks from where she grew up.
$2,300 Amount donated to the Obama campaign by Friends star Jennifer Aniston, who joins a host of celebrity backers including Bruce Springsteen, George Clooney, Robert De Niro and Ben Affleck.
60,000 Number of miles Obama has travelled since June on a tour of key states.
£150,000 Amount Republicans have spent on Sarah Palin’s new wardrobe, prompting widespread criticism.
1.5m Size of the army of volunteers that the Obama campaign has deployed from hundreds of regional offices across the U.S.
$3m The amount that chat show queen Oprah Winfrey raised in a single fundraiser for Obama at her California home. He is the first candidate she has publicly backed in 25 years.
22m Number of Americans who had already voted before the polls opened yesterday, using postal ballots or other special early ballots.
$100m Reported wealth of McCain’s blonde wife Cindy, a brewing heiress and former swimwear model.
21m Number of times the hip-hop-style viral music video Yes We Can, inspired by Obama’s election slogan, has been watched on the internet since February. It stars actress Scarlett Johansson and was made by former Black Eyed Peas member will.i.am.
220m Number of Americans eligible to vote. A record percentage was expected to turn out this election.
$1bn Total amount spent on the campaign by both parties, marking a new record