IN THE HEADLINES (AP)
McCain, Obama campaign hard as long election season draws to a close ... Obama campaigns, talks on election eve like a man who expects he's going to win presidency ... Palin sounds optimistic note in Democratic stronghold in Ohio; criticizes Obama's tax plan ... Biden tells suburban Kansas City crowd that he and Obama offer most relief for middle class
Obama, McCain battle across campaign's closing day
MIAMI (AP)-The presidential candidates are capping a history-making campaign with a dash from Florida through a half-dozen other crucial states as John McCain tries for an upset over Barack Obama.
With little sleep, McCain was darting through seven swing states Monday, arguing that victory was virtually at hand despite national polls showing otherwise.
"My friends, it's official: There's just one day left until we take America in a new direction," McCain told a raucous, heavily Hispanic rally in Miami just after midnight.
Obama, comfortably ahead in national polls, started his day with a rally in Jacksonville and planned to swing through longtime GOP bastions that might go to his Democratic Party this time.
It has been the longest and most expensive presidential contest ever-featuring for the first time an African-American as a major party standardbearer.
Obama on election eve: A guy who expects to win
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP)-Barack Obama looks and acts like a guy who expects to win.
Just look at his election eve schedule. While John McCain rushed around to seven states for last-minute campaigning on Monday, Obama didn't appear before voters until after 11 a.m., the first of just three events for the day.
Before that, he did radio interviews from his hotel room-then he headed out in sweat pants and a ball cap for a 45-minute workout at a gym.
"What is the one thing at this point that has you a little bit concerned?" he was asked by syndicated radio host Russ Parr.
"You know, I feel pretty peaceful, Russ, I gotta say," Obama replied. "Because my attitude is, if we've done everything we can do, then it's up to the people to decide. And the question is going to be who wants it more. And I hope that our supporters want it bad, because I think the country needs it."
Obama's supporters were nothing if not fired up. About 9,000 came to his event in conservative-leaning Jacksonville, while across the state in Tampa, McCain drew less than 1,000. Obama's crowd was decked out in campaign T-shirts that said things like "Obama is my homeboy," and stood in their seats at Veterans Memorial Arena before he got there, dancing to a warm-up soundtrack that included India.Arie's song, "There's Hope."
Palin sounds optimistic in Ohio
LAKEWOOD, Ohio (AP)-Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin told a boisterous crowd in a Democratic suburb of Cleveland Monday that "victory is coming."
The Alaska governor opened a grueling final day of the presidential campaign with an upbeat rally in Lakewood, the biggest Democratic stronghold in Ohio, a swing state whose 20 electoral votes are crucial to Republican John McCain's campaign.
Polls show Ohio is too close to call with Democrat Barack Obama carrying a slight lead or running neck and neck with McCain.
Although Obama-Biden signs far outnumber those for McCain-Palin in Lakewood, Palin drew a noisy crowd that waved red pompoms during her appearance at the bandstand in Lakewood Park.
"This is the right place to be for us to kick off this final day of campaigning," Palin said. "You can just feel it here in Ohio. Victory is coming. We can do this; we can win Ohio."
Biden rallies suburban MO Democrats
LEE'S SUMMIT, Mo. (AP)-Democrat vice presidential candidate Joe Biden made a last-minute pitch for swing-state Missouri on Monday, vowing that he and Barack Obama would "re-establish the middle class" by focusing on job creation and helping homeowners facing foreclosure.
"For too many families who are working hard, playing by the rules ... people can see it slipping from their grasp," Biden told a crowd of about 1,500 at the Longview Community College Recreation Center south of Kansas City. "We are on the cusp of a new brand of leadership."
On the eve of the election, Biden highlighted the nation's financial crisis and said Obama would offer a three-month moratorium for homeowners facing foreclosure. He also jabbed Republican Sen. John McCain, saying there was "literally not one fundamental economic difference between John McCain and George Bush."
He later repeated a sarcastic barb about the Republican ticket of McCain and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.
"Hey, maverick. Hey, maverick," Biden said to roars of laughter. "I mean, give me a break.
Democrat Barack Obama has a 13-percentage-point lead over Republican John McCain-53 percent to 40 percent-among registered voters, according to the latest Gallup Poll daily tracking update. Obama's lead on Sunday was 11 points.
Barack Obama holds rallies in Florida, North Carolina and Virginia.
Joe Biden campaigns in Missouri, Ohio and Philadelphia.
John McCain campaigns in Florida, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Indiana, New Mexico, Nevada and Arizona.
Sarah Palin campaigns in Ohio, Missouri, Iowa, Colorado and Nevada.
QUOTE OF THE DAY:
"Not actually winning or losing. It's governing."-Barack Obama, when asked by ABC News Radio's Ann Compton what keeps him up at night.
STAT OF THE DAY:
Just 44 percent of whites supporting Republican John McCain say the campaign interests them, compared to 58 percent of whites and 72 percent of blacks supporting Democrat Barack Obama, according to an AP-Yahoo News poll.