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3 Nov, 2008 00:39

Obama targets 'red' states in final surge

As the U.S. election campaign enters its final phase, the Democrats are targeting states once considered Republican strongholds. With only a day to go, polls suggest Barack Obama is making inroads into safe McCain territory. Meanwhile, both candidates are

Barack Obama has held a huge rally in Ohio, one of the so-called ‘red states’ which voted for George W. Bush during previous elections. 
Meanwhile, U.S. vice-president Dick Cheney has officially endorsed John McCain for the top job.  Cheney is leaving his post after the election with the lowest approval rating in history.

Obama couldn’t resist making a sarcastic comment. “He [Dick Cheney] said he is delighted to support John McCain. So, I would like to congratulate senator McCain on this endorsement,” he said.

McCain spent Saturday in Virginia and Pennsylvania, while Obama went to Missouri, Colorado and Nevada.

Florida is another of the key battlegrounds that can make or break the presidential dreams of Barack Obama and John McCain.

In the 2000 election it was the scene of a vote-rigging scandal, which led many to accuse George W. Bush of stealing the election from Al Gore.

Voting computers have now been introduced, so there is no prospect of a repeat of the problem with hanging chads as there was back then. Instead, there are concerns about the complexity of the voting process and that the computers might be vulnerable to hackers.

Election officials are trying to dispel those fears, saying there’s no evidence hackers are targeting voting equipment and that, despite the apparent complexity of the ballot casting process, it’s actually not that hard to follow. Practice sheets have been introduced to give people a better chance to vote properly and ensure their vote is counted.

According to official results and with much controversy, Florida supported the Republicans in the last two presidential elections. Opinion polls suggest there is a real possibility of the state turning Democrat come November.

Meanwhile, President George W. Bush is urging Americans to vote saying that the U.S. election sets an example for budding democracies around the world.