The U.S. presidential election campaign is moving into its final week, and
both major candidates are making their closing arguments to voters before the
November 4 election. Democratic Party nominee Barack Obama and Republican John
McCain have campaigned Monday in Ohio and are each beginning their day Tuesday
in Pennsylvania, before moving on to other important states where the race is
close. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has the latest on the campaign from
Democrat Barack Obama continues to lead in the
national polls and in most of the key states that will hold the balance in next
But Obama cautioned a crowd in Ohio not to take the
election for granted, and to get out and work hard in the closing days of the
"Do not believe for a second that this election is over," he
said. "Do not think for a minute that power concedes. We have a lot of work to
do. We have to work like our future depends on it in this last week, because it
does depend on it this week!"
Obama is focused on a message of change and
unity in the final days of the campaign. He says if elected he would unify the
country, including Democrats and Republicans, to take on the economic challenges
at home and the security challenges abroad.
But Obama is not backing away
from his central contention that his Republican opponent, Senator John McCain,
represents a continuation of what he calls the failed policies of President
"John McCain might be worried about losing an election, but I am
worried about Americans who are losing their homes and their jobs and their life
savings," said Obama. "I can take one more week of John McCain's attacks, but
this country cannot take four more years of the same failed politics and the
same failed policies. It is time to try something new!"
Senator McCain also campaigned in Ohio, and he
focused on the economy, which the polls show is the number-one issue in the
"With one week left in this campaign, the choice facing
Americans is stark," McCain said. "My economic goals and policies are very
McCain again distanced himself from the economic policies of
President Bush, and noted that Americans want change.
continued his attacks on Obama's tax proposals, which some of his supporters
compare to socialism.
"And that is the problem with Senator Obama's
approach to our economy," said McCain. "He is more interested in controlling
wealth than creating it, in redistributing money instead of spreading
opportunity. I am going to create wealth for all Americans by creating
opportunity for all Americans!"
Many political experts believe McCain is
running out of time to close the gap in the polls in the final days of the
"What is driving this election is dissatisfaction with the
party now holding the White House," said Allan Lichtman, a presidential
historian at American University in Washington. "Nearly 90 percent of Americans
think the country is on the wrong track. The economy is in meltdown. George Bush
is the most unpopular president in the history of polling, which goes back to
The fact that both major presidential contenders were in
Ohio on the same day this late in the campaign reflects the state's influential
status in presidential elections. No Republican has ever won the White House
without carrying Ohio. And John Kennedy in 1960 was the last Democratic
candidate to win the presidency without carrying Ohio. Obama has a narrow lead
over McCain in the latest polls in Ohio.