TEHRAN, Iran – In one of the most extraordinary presidential campaigns Iran has seen, reformist candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi has borrowed tactics from two seemingly divergent political movements: Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution, and President Barack Obama's run for the White House.
The strategy spawned an odd mix of Iranian revolution-era songs — a famous one begins, "The devil is leaving and the angel is coming" — tied to modern campaign tactics Mousavi's advisers say they ripped straight from the Obama playbook.
Iran's voters go to the polls Friday; a record turnout is expected. The race is viewed as largely between Mousavi and incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a harsh U.S. critic and conservative figure. Two other candidates, reformist cleric Mehdi Karroubi and conservative Mohsen Rezaie, are also running.
Polling isn't reliable, so it is tough to gauge who is in front. Iranian elections can yield surprising results, but most analysts say it might be a close race and could even go into a runoff.
Regardless of the result, Iranian politics have entered uncharted territory.
Mousavi in particular ran an energetic dark-horse campaign that startled the nation with some of its strategies.
An architect and former prime minister, he has pledged to overhaul the economy, reinstate relative social freedoms and re-engage politically with the U.S. and other Western nations.