The U.S. presidential race between Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama will likely be decided in a host of "swing states," where neither candidate holds an overwhelming lead.
The candidates are campaigning heavily in these so-called battleground states, such as Virginia, Indiana and Pennsylvania. Voters there cite a number of concerns, including joblessness, mortgage foreclosures and lack of affordable healthcare, as decisive voting issues.
In the Midwestern swing state of Michigan, recent mass automaker layoffs and an ailing manufacturing base have contributed to the economic woes.
Voters in Florida also cite the worsening U.S. economy as a crucial election issue. Residents of the diverse southeastern U.S. state have been hard hit by the foreclosure crisis.
Immigration also has been a divisive issue in the presidential campaign. Both Senators McCain and Obama are actively courting Hispanic voters, who represent a critical voting bloc in battleground states such as Florida, Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico.
In the Midwestern state of Ohio, a pivotal battleground in the 2004 U.S. presidential election, voters say the candidates' responses to the financial crisis represents a top concern.
The northeastern swing state of New Hampshire and the western state of Colorado boast an influential number of independent voters in states that could prove pivotal to victory in November.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.