WASHINGTON: From A to Z, the battle for the White House has been a gripping ride. Here is a lexical walk through some of the campaign's most memorable moments and characters.
A is for Abortion
While social issues have taken a back seat in the campaign, both sides have played up their stance on abortion to motivate their base. Obama's camp has warned that abortion rights are at risk in the event of a Romney victory.
B is for Binders
During the second presidential debate on Oct 16, Romney triggered widespread ridicule by saying that he had gone through “binders full of women” when considering potential female hires as governor of Massachusetts.
C is for Clint
Tough guy actor Clint Eastwood bemused millions of television viewers on the final night of the Republican National Convention when he improvised a debate with an imaginary Obama sitting in an empty chair.
D is for Denver
Or for “debate disaster.” The University of Denver was the site of the first presidential debate, on Oct 3, at which a listless Obama was roundly trounced by a more focused and determined Romney.
E is for Etch-A-Sketch
In March, Romney adviser Eric Fehrnstrom told CNN the Republican would move from the primaries to the general election as if shaking an Etch-a-Sketch toy to create a clean slate. It became a byword for his ideological flexibility.
F is for Forty-Seven Per cent
In September, a grainy video surfaced showing Romney addressing an audience of wealthy donors and writing off 47 per cent of the US electorate as lazy victims with a sense of entitlement living off state support.
G is for General Motors
Obama has targeted northeastern swing states by celebrating his bailout of the auto industry, his camp summarising his position with the slogan: “Osama bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive.”
H is for Herman
Pizza mogul Herman Cain briefly lead the Republican primary field despite a noted inability to address foreign policy knowledgeably and having a tax policy that could be summarised by the three digits 9-9-9.
I is for Iran
Both candidates have talked about the need for strong financial sanctions against Iran to disrupt its nuclear enrichment program, but Romney criticised Obama for allowing Iran to be “four years closer” to having a nuclear weapon.
J is for Jobs
Which candidate has a better plan for creating jobs? While the unemployment rate has dropped slightly, Romney has repeatedly hit out at Obama, touted his business experience and promised to create millions of new jobs.
K is for Keystone
Both candidates vowed to increase America's domestic energy production but Romney has also promised that, if elected, he would approve an extension of the Keystone Pipeline, which brings oil from Canada to the US.
L is for Libya
Libya became a hot topic on the campaign trail after the US ambassador to the country was killed in early September in an attack on the consulate in Benghazi. The Romney camp came close to accusing the Obama team of a cover-up.
M is for Middle Class
Both candidates put middle class concerns at the center of their candidacy – with Obama's camp attempting to portray Romney as an out of touch plutocrat, and Republicans pointing to economic stagnation, persistent high unemployment and falling household buying power.
N is for Netanyahu
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a longtime friend of Romney, was accused of interfering with the US election campaign when he publicly upped the pressure on Obama to act over Iran's alleged nuclear weapons program.
O is for Ohio
Ohio has become the key battleground state in the election. Seven presidents have hailed from Ohio, and no Republican candidate has won office without winning the state – but Obama has a narrow edge in recent polls.
P is for PBS Romney sparked a social media storm when he threatened to cut off federal funding from the Public Broadcasting Service, home of the Sesame Street kids' show and its star Big Bird, who became an inadvertent campaign icon.
Q is for Al Qaeda
In their third debate, Romney did not try to counter Obama's big foreign policy boast that he ordered the commando raid that killed Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, but warned: “We can't kill our way out of this mess.”
R is for Rape