President Bush and challenger John Kerry traded early victories Tuesday in a tense and testy contest between an embattled wartime incumbent and a hard-charging Democrat who blamed the Republican for chaos in Iraq and joblessness at home.
From the Atlantic Ocean to the Mississippi River, polls closed in more than two dozen states but the race was wide open. It was too close to call in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida, with a combined 68 electoral votes, one-fourth of the coveted total of 270.
Bush won West Virginia, a battleground state with five electoral votes and a long history of backing Democrats until the president took it in 2000. Kerry battled back by winning the statewide vote in Maine, worth three electoral votes.
Embattled有双重含义：“严阵以待的，投入战斗的”或“四面楚歌的，被攻击、批评或反对包围的”。在这里embattled是形容布什是一个做好准备的“战争斗士”，还是一个遭到谴责和攻击的“战争罪人”呢？请看下面的相关例子：embattled troops（严阵以待的部队）；an embattled legislative minority（被四面攻击的立法少数派）；an embattled governor（四面楚歌的官员）。