With control of Congress at stake on Tuesday's elections, President George W Bush campaigned in endangered Republican districts across conservative states while the top congressional Democrat campaigned for her party in the left-leaning Northeast.
"Here's the way I see it," Bush yesterday told a crowd inside an auditorium in Grand Island, Nebraska.
"If the Democrats are so good about being the party of the opposition, let's just keep them in the opposition."
Republicans are hoping their party's acclaimed get-out-the-vote operation can prevent a Democratic rout in a campaign marked by voter fury over the Iraq war.
Meanwhile, Democratic Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, hoping to become the first female leader of the House of Representatives, was cautiously optimistic about her party's chances Tuesday.
"We are thankful for where we are today, to be poised for success," she said in Colchester, Connecticut.
"But we have two Mount Everests we have to climb -- they are called Monday and Tuesday."
Her party appears increasingly confident it can ride a wave of public disenchantment with the administration's policies to victory in the House and, possibly, the Senate.
Two days before the election, both parties focused on turning out voters. The numbers historically are low in non-presidential year elections, with only about 40 per cent of US citizens of voting age casting ballots.
Republicans and Democrats have sent out thousands of volunteers in states with the most contested races to work phone banks and canvass neighborhoods.
Both parties also have assembled legal teams for possible challengers in case of voting problems.