Republican presidential candidate John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama are battling for the support of low and middle-income Americans, 12 days before voters elect a new president.
Senator McCain, who continues to lag in national polls, campaigned in the southeastern state of Florida Thursday. He claimed Senator Obama would raise taxes on small businesses, which McCain says would cost Americans new jobs. The race is very tight in Florida, one of several states considered critical to winning the White House on November 4.
Obama told supporters in the north central state of Indiana that McCain's economic policies put Wall Street ahead of Main Street average Americans and businesses. Polls show the race is also very tight in Indiana, which has been reliably Republican in the past.
In an average of national polls, compiled by RealClearPolitics, Obama leads McCain more than seven percentage points 50.1 to 42.7 percent. Analysts have attributed Obama's strong lead to a perception that he is better able to handle the troubled economy.
Obama is now taking a break to visit his ailing grandmother in Hawaii. Madelyn Dunham, 85, helped raise Obama. The presidential candidate told CBS News that he did not make it to his mother's bedside before she died in 1995 and he did not want to make the same mistake twice.
Obama returns to the campaign trail Saturday for a rally in the western state of Nevada.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.