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Presidential Candidates Sprint To The Finish Line

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The presidential candidates and their running mates are on a mad dash to hit as many states as possible before voters cast their ballots on Tuesday.

Republican John McCain is in the midst of a seven-state sprint that kicked off Monday morning in Tampa, Florida. The final hours of the campaign will take him to Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Indiana, New Mexico, Nevada and finally his home state of Arizona.

"This is the fundamental difference between Senator Barack Obama and me. We both disagree with President George W. Bush on economic policy," said McCain on one of his first stops Monday. "The difference is he thinks taxes are too low. And I think spending has been too high."

Saying "The Mac is back! We're going to win this election," the Republican nominee continued his assault on Democratic nominee Barack Obama's tax plan.

"Senator Obama's massive new tax increase will kill jobs, make a bad economy worse. I'm not going to let that happen," said McCain.

Monday was also a busy day for Obama, whose making last-minute stops in Florida, North Carolina, and Virginia – three states that Bush won in the last two elections.

Dizzied by the rapid traveling, Obama at one point mistakenly referred to his Florida location as "Ohio."

But the Democratic nominee continued to try and draw a link between Bush and his opponent.

"When it comes to the economy, when it comes to the central issue of this election, the plain truth is that John McCain has stood with George Bush every step of the way," said Obama. "He hasn't been a maverick; he's been a sidekick to George Bush."

For Obama, the excitement of the campaign was tempered by news of his grandmother's death.

Madelyn Payne Dunham, the woman who shaped much of his life, lost her battle with cancer.

Obama grew emotional while talking about her at an event in Charlotte.

"She was somebody who was a very humble person, a very plain-spoken person," said Obama. "She was one of those quiet heroes that we have all across America."

Both candidates are also expected to campaign on Tuesday, in a break from campaign tradition.

The vice presidential candidates are also trying to cover as much ground as possible.

Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Biden campaigned in Missouri and Ohio Monday, before ending his night with a rally in Philadelphia.

Like his running mate, Biden's job has been to link McCain to the current administration.

"He keeps saying he's not George Bush. Well, look I know we're not running against George Bush. But we are running, on a serious note, we are running against the very policies, the very economic policies that Bush has espoused and John McCain promises to continue," said the Delaware senator.

Meanwhile, GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin began her day in Ohio, where she touted McCain's experience and said his tax plan is the one best suited to fix the economy.

"We will bring tax relief to every American and every business," she said. "See, John McCain and I, we have a very basic and fundamental disagreement with our opponents on this whole issue of taxes. Now is the worst possible time to even think about raising taxes on you and our small businesses. Small businesses are the backbone of this economy."

Palin also had campaign stops planned in Missouri, Iowa, Colorado and Nevada.

Meanwhile, a new Quinnipiac University poll shows Obama maintaining a lead in three of the biggest swing states.

The survey shows Obama leading McCain by 10 percentage points in Pennsylvania, seven points in Ohio, and just two points in Florida.

No one has been elected president since 1960 without taking at least two of those states.

Quinnipiac surveyed between 1,400 and 1,800 voters in each state.
The margins of error range from 2.3 to 2.5.

The assistant director of the Quinnipiac polling institute says Obama appears headed for the best showing of any Democrat among white voters since Jimmy Carter in 1976. Those polled also say the economy is the major issue leading them to Obama.

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