IN THE HEADLINES
Obama gets his normal cheering crowd at cold, outdoor rally ... With polls showing Pa. slipping away, McCain says 'it's wonderful to fool the pundits' ... McCain says Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens 'broke his trust' with citizens and should resign ... With visits and money, Obama narrows race in Montana while McCain stays away
Obama gets a different kind of chilly reception
CHESTER, Pa. (AP) - Democrat Barack Obama carried on Tuesday with an outdoor rally at Widener University, outside Philadelphia, despite a cold, steady rain that made the temperature feel freezing.
About 9,000 people came out to hear the presidential contender. They stood in mud.
"I just want all of you to know that if we see this kind of dedication on Election Day, there is no way that we're not going to bring change to America," Obama told the shivering crowd.
The weather was so miserable that Obama's rival, Republican John McCain, canceled a rally 50 miles north in Quakertown - hardly insignificant, given the dwindling campaign time.
Gone were Obama's suit and tie. He wore jeans, sneakers and a waterproof raincoat. Still, shunning an umbrella, he got soaked. Obama later changed clothes before resuming his events.
McCain and Obama converged on Pennsylvania, a vote-rich state where Obama leads but McCain remains hopeful of a turnaround. Later, Obama was heading to Virginia, a longtime Republican state where he leads in polls.
McCain says pundits being fooled, promises victory
HERSHEY, Pa. (AP) - Republican John McCain on Tuesday vowed to pull in upset in Pennsylvania, as polls show him trailing the Democratic presidential ticket in this key battleground state.
"It's wonderful to fool the pundits because we're going to win the state of Pennsylvania," McCain said as he campaigned with running mate Sarah Palin. The state has 21 electoral votes up for grabs.
"I'm not afraid of the fight. I'm ready for it," McCain told supporters at a noisy morning rally.
Palin defended the campaign's harsh attacks on Obama.
"Our opponent is not being candid with you about his tax plans," said Palin. "It is not mean-spirited and it is not negative campaigning to call out someone on their record."
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McCain says convicted Alaska senator should resign
WASHINGTON (AP) - Republican John McCain called Tuesday for Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens to resign in the aftermath of his felony convictions in a federal corruption case, saying the longtime Republican "has broken his trust with the people."
McCain's running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, has not called for Stevens to quit. On Monday, following the guilty verdicts, Palin said, "I'm confident Sen. Stevens will do what's right for the people of Alaska."
A jury on Monday found Stevens, 84, guilty on seven counts of trying to hide more than $250,000 in free home renovations and other gifts from a wealthy oil contractor. He asked his Senate colleagues as well as Alaska's voters to stand by him as he appeals the convictions.
In a statement issued by his campaign, McCain said the convictions were "a sign of the health of our democracy that the people continue to hold their representatives to account for improper or illegal conduct, but this verdict is also a sign of the corruption and insider-dealing that has become so pervasive in our nation's capital."
With visits and money, Obama narrows race in Mont.
HELENA, Mont. (AP) - Republican John McCain has history on his side in Montana. Democrat Barack Obama has 19 campaign offices.
Montana is typically safe territory for Republican presidential candidates. President Bush won the state by about 20 points in both 2000 and 2004, and only two Democrats - Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964 and Bill Clinton in 1992 - have carried the state since 1948.
But Obama staked out Montana early as a potential battleground state and he's sticking with it to the end. McCain, confident of winning the state's three electoral votes, is virtually ignoring it, although the Republican National Committee will begin airing ads in Montana for the first time Wednesday.
Obama's campaign didn't back off when the state appeared to be a shoo-in for McCain in September. And now McCain's lead appears to be in doubt. A recent Montana State University-Billings poll showed the race within the margin of error, with Obama at 44 percent and McCain at 40 percent among likely voters, and 10 percent undecided.
Barack Obama attended a rally in Chester, Pa., before heading to the Virginia towns of Harrisonburg and Norfolk.
Joe Biden campaigns in the Florida towns of Ocala and Melbourne.
John McCain and Sarah Palin held a rally together in Hershey, Pa. A joint rally in Quakertown, Pa., was canceled because of weather. McCain then holds an event in Fayetteville, N.C.
Palin also talks to voters in the Pennsylvania towns of Shippensburg and State College.
QUOTE OF THE DAY:
"When we get a protest like that, I'm always tempted to tell security let them stay, maybe they'll learn a thing or two." - Sarah Palin, after the Republicans' rally was interrupted briefly by Democrat Barack Obama backers waving signs.
STAT OF THE DAY:
According to the Census Bureau, 24 percent of voters in 2004 said they registered to vote at a county or government registration office - the most common method of registering.
Compiled by Ann Sanner.