Candidates sprint toward finish line

By: cnn.com
By: cnn.com

(CNN) -- The presidential candidates and their running mates are visiting more than a dozen states Monday as they campaign in the final day before the election.

With just hours to go, Sen. John McCain is trying to gain as much ground as possible. Polls show him trailing Sen. Barack Obama by 7 percentage points.

According to CNN's average of national polls, 5 percent of voters are still undecided.

At a Monday morning rally in Tampa, Florida, McCain urged supporters to volunteer for his campaign in the home stretch.

"We will win Florida, and we will win this race tomorrow," he said. "There's one day left until we take America in a new direction, my friends, and we need your help."

McCain addressed a small crowd in Tampa, estimated at about 1,100 people.

Local reporters pointed out that just before the 2004 election, President Bush drew about 15,000 at a nearby location.

According to CNN's average of state polls, Obama holds a slim lead of 2 percentage points over McCain in Florida, 48 percent to 46 percent.

Obama on Sunday warned against overconfidence in the final hours.

"Don't believe for a second this election is over. Don't think for a minute that power will concede without a fight. We have to work like our future depends on it in these last two days, because it does," he said in Columbus, Ohio.

Both candidates vowed to bring about change in op-eds published Monday in The Wall Street Journal.

"After the difficulties of the last eight years, Americans are hungry for change and they deserve it. My career has been dedicated to the security and prosperity of America and that of every nation that seeks to live in freedom. It's time to get our country, and our world, back on track," McCain wrote.

Obama said that with him, voters can choose "the promise of change over the power of the status quo."

"So tomorrow, I ask you to write our nation's next great chapter. I ask you to believe -- not just in my ability to bring about change, but in yours. ... If you give me your vote, we won't just win this election -- together, we will change this country and change the world," he wrote.

Besides Tampa, McCain on Monday also has rallies scheduled in Blountville, Tennessee; Moon Township, Pennsylvania; Indianapolis, Indiana; Roswell, New Mexico; and Henderson, Nevada. He ends the day in Prescott, Arizona.

In Prescott, McCain holds a 2 a.m. Tuesday rally on the steps of the courthouse, where his hero Barry Goldwater launched his 1964 presidential bid. The site is also where McCain always makes his final stop in his Senate campaigns.

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, McCain's running mate, is scheduled to attend rallies in five states: Lakewood, Ohio; Jefferson City, Missouri; Dubuque, Iowa; Colorado Springs, Colorado; Reno and Elko, Nevada.

Following the Nevada rally, Palin is expected to fly to Alaska, where she will cast her ballot on Tuesday morning.

With the exception of Pennsylvania, Bush carried each of the states that McCain and Palin plan on visiting Monday.

Monday's visit will mark the 10th time in 15 days that the GOP ticket has campaigned in Pennsylvania.

Obama's final day takes him to three Southern states that voted for Bush.

The Democratic candidate begins the day in Jacksonville, Florida. He then travels to Charlotte, North Carolina, followed by a rally in Manassas, Virginia.

Obama's running mate, Sen. Joe Biden, campaigns in Ohio, Missouri and Pennsylvania. He's expected to hold rallies in Zanesville and Copley, Ohio, and Lee's Summit, Missouri. He ends the day in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

On Monday night, both candidates will have interviews air on ESPN during halftime of "Monday Night Football."

The poll of polls consists of nine surveys: CNN/ORC (October 30-November 1), Pew (October 29-November 1), CBS (October 28-31), Fox/Opinion Dynamics (October 28-29), ABC/The Washington Post (October 29-November 1), Reuters/C-SPAN/Zogby (October 30-November 1), Gallup (October 30-November 1), Diageo/Hotline (October 30-November 1) and IBD/TIPP (October 29-November 1). It does not have a sampling error.


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