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28 Oct, 2008 23:35

Obama and McCain battle for key states

With just a week to go before Election Day, the U.S. presidential candidates have taken their contest to the battleground state of Pennsylvania. Wet weather forced John McCain to call off an outdoor rally.

About 9,000 people turned out to hear Obama at an open air rally, despite the wintry conditions. Most stood in the mud to hear the Illinois Senator deliver a familiar speech on the need for political change in America.

The Democrat is slightly ahead in the polls, but McCain insists the state is winnable.

Obama is urging his supporters not to relax ahead of the vote.
But the Republican still believes he can pull off a surprise win to take the White House. Repeating a familiar theme, he told supporters that Obama was a tax and spend politician, committed to redistributing wealth.    .

Swinging Florida

Another key state for both candidates is the crucial swing state of Florida, which has a large Hispanic community.

But many there say they don’t trust either candidate.

Hispanic Americans at a loss

The Hispanic community makes up 20 per cent of the population in Florida, and while traditionally immigration laws are the main concern for Latino voters, this time the economic crisis is what worries them.

This may push some Latinos to the polls, while keeping others away because they are too busy struggling.

Store clerk Francisco Cavezaz has been hit by the economic crisis.  He says he sees people trying to cope with its consequences every day.

“People count their pennies to buy a bar of soap!” he says.

He says that’s what killed people’s trust in politicians: “They really depend on a lot of influential companies that support their campaigns and stuff like that, so their loyalties are questionable.”

Even though some analysts predict a record turnout in the election, a lack of trust may strike a blow.

John is an activist motivating Hispanic voters not to be afraid of speaking out on Election Day.

“Every vote, if counted, can make a difference. The problem is that the integrity of the system is in question,” he says.

However, many have been hit hard by the government’s decisions and don’t believe the next president will make a difference.