US Election Diary

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The Spanish singer Noelia Zanon, virtually unknown outside Valencia, seems poised for stardom after her song was chosen as Barack Obama's theme tune to woo America's Latino voters. Mr Obama's team picked Zanon's "Quedate en mi corazon" (Stay in my heart) and rewrote it as "Vota por Obama hoy" (Vote for Obama Today). The singer recorded her new version on Wednesday, and is set to fly to Georgia next week to perform at Democratic campaign meetings. Her agent had sent the song to US Latino distributors and it caught the ear of a Democrat party member. "I'm not being paid, and I'm not political, but this will be great for my career," Zanon says. Unknown she may be, but she has political-showbiz experience: She once performed at an event for Spain's conservative Popular Party in Benidorm.

*Despite the fact that John McCain and Mr Obama are running close, one of the top US pollsters is predicting an electoral landslide come November. John Zogby, president of Zogby International, forecast that the popular vote would remain tight but by the last weekend, the electoral college math will have broken overwhelmingly in favour of one man. "This may be and probably is the most important election in our lifetime," Mr Zogby said. "I don't say that lightly."

* There goes Mr McCain's pitch for the Irish vote. The Ancient Order of Hibernians, (a misogynistic male-only, Irish-Catholic fraternity founded in New York in 1836) is up in arms after Mr McCain told a joke about drunk Irish twins in Scranton last week. The AOH president, Seamus Boyle, told Mr McCain: "It was really an insult to a whole nationality to be stereotyped as drunks. The Irish are a jovial people who enjoy life, work hard, help the needy, support our community and our country yet get depicted as drunkards and partiers ... I think an apology is in order to those millions of Irish in the United States who were offended by your joke."

* The comedian Chris Rock knows which side he's backing. "The choice is you got a guy that's worth $150m with 12 houses against a guy who's worth a million dollars with one house," he said. "The guy with one house really cares about losing a house, because he is homeless. The other guy can lose five houses and still got a bunch of houses. Am I the only one that sees this?"