11/02/2004 AT 8:00 AM ET
Monday – and early Tuesday morning – marked a grueling day for both presidential candidates, with President George W. Bush cutting a 2,548-mile swath through battleground states before ending up at his Crawford, Texas, ranch, while John Kerry faced rallies in Florida, Wisconsin, Michigan and Ohio.
Experts are predicting that as many as 121 million Americans may vote, topping the record of 106 million in 2000, reports The New York Times.
Saying that the “finish line is in sight,” Bush, who is in a relatively dead heat with his opponent according to nearly every poll, told reporters when he landed in Pittsburgh that he’s “got the energy, the optimism and the enthusiasm to cross the line.” The Republican incumbent remained on the campaign trail for 19 hours.
To a rain-drenched crowd in Wisconsin, an upbeat Kerry said, “You guys look so wonderful, wet and bundled and all huddled up.” Next stop for Kerry was Detroit, where his opening act was Stevie Wonder. In Cleveland, it was Bruce Springsteen. The Democratic challenger was still greeting prospective voters at 1 a.m., and was due to have only three hours sleep before a Tuesday morning rally.
The 2004 Election is being called the longest and most expensive in history, let alone the tightest. Both parties, aware that every vote is key, have been urging Americans to get to the polls Tuesday.