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U.S. Pres. Candidates Make Last-ditch Pitch to Voters

Posted November. 01, 2008 03:02,   


We will score a landslide victory not only in swing states but also in Republican turf. -- Barack Obama camp.

White blue-collar workers and working class housewives will come to McCain’s rescue. -- John McCain camp.

With just three days to go before the U.S. presidential election, most opinion polls and pundits forecast an Obama victory.

The McCain camp, however, is trying to rally support until the last moment, saying conservatives who worry about a “liberal America” are stepping forward.

▽ Offense is the best defense

Bashing McCain as a clone of President George W. Bush, Obama is focusing on states that have voted Republican since 2000, such as Florida, Virginia and North Carolina.

At a campaign rally in Florida Thursday, Obama said that while McCain was seated next to Bush over the past eight years, Americans have paid a huge price for the “Bush-McCain” alliance.

With Obama leading McCain by five to six percentage points according to Real Clear Politics, the political futures market forecast that Obama has an 80-percent chance of winning. According to a New York Times/CBS News poll, undecided voters accounted for a meager four percent.

With Obama’s victory prospects growing, news outlets have begun guessing whom he will name to his Cabinet. The Associated Press said Illinois Congressman Rahm Emanuel could be the next White House chief of staff.

The three-term lawmaker Emanuel helped Bill Clinton win the presidency in 1992.

▽ Conservatives unite

To garner a last-minute bump in the polls, the McCain camp sent out Thursday massive robo-calls, or automated telemarketing phone calls using computers, and mail to battleground states citing Obama’s links to convicted felon Antoin Rezko.

Former Obama fundraiser and real estate developer Rezko has been accused of doing Obama a favor when the Illinois senator bought a house.

The American Conservative Union filed a formal complaint with the Senate Ethics Committee urging an investigation into the matter.

The Obama-Rezko allegation is the latest in a series of the McCain camp’s smear campaign to undermine Obama’s credibility by linking him to dangerous figures.

Obama has been pounded for his previous association with William Ayers, a co-founder of the radical leftist group Weather Underground in 1969; the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Obama’s former pastor in Chicago; and anti-Israel professor Rashid Khalidi, a former spokesman for the Palestine Liberation Organization.

McCain’s chief pollster Bill McInturff said that with growing support from high-school educated Americans, rural voters and pro-lifers, the gap with Obama is narrowing.

The McCain camp said it is ramping up a final 72-hour push similar to that done by Bush to win reelection in 2004. With the operation, McCain strategists are conducting a thorough analysis of voters to persuade them to vote for McCain in the last three days before Election Day.

▽ Early voting craze

According to Fox News, almost 20 percent of eligible voters have cast their ballots. Counting those who said they would vote early, the number of early voters will reach 33 percent.

Among them, 52 percent support Obama and 43 percent McCain. Some 30 percent of registered voters in North Carolina have already cast their ballots.