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Obama Taking Nothing For Granted With 1 Day Left


It's Morning Edition from NPR News. Good morning, I'm Steve Inskeep.


And I'm Renee Montagne. Here's a truism of politics. Whatever the polls may say, it doesn't mean anything if your supporters don't vote. And on this final day before the election, Barack Obama and John McCain are hoping to win the contest on turnout.

INSKEEP: Obama is focusing on states that voted twice for President Bush, states that he hopes to capture in 2008. John McCain is working to hold on to as many of those states as he can and also come from behind in the big state of Pennsylvania.

MONTAGNE: Day after day this fall, we've been hearing campaign updates from NPR's Scott Horsley and Don Gonyea. You can listen now to two men who know the end is near.

DON GONYEA: For Barack Obama Sunday, it was three major Ohio cities. First came Columbus where the crowd filled the State Capitol grounds and spilled down the block. In Ohio, the big issue is the economy.

(Soundbite of Democratic campaign rally, Columbus, Ohio)

Senator BARACK OBAMA (Democrat, Illinois; Democratic Presidential Candidate): In two days, you can choose policies that invest in our middle class and create new jobs, grow this economy so that everybody has a chance to succeed, from the CEO to the secretary and the janitor, from the factory owner to the men and women who work on the factory floor. In two days.

GONYEA: Ohio has lost 213,000 jobs in the past eight years. Obama tailored his stump speech here to talk about the need to fix trade deals that he says are too often unfair to American workers. All weekend Obama also made sure everyone knew about comments by Vice President Dick Cheney Saturday at a Wyoming fundraiser. Cheney said that John McCain is the best choice for president.

(Soundbite of Democratic campaign rally, Columbus, Ohio)

Senator OBAMA: Cheney knows what you know, that with John McCain you get a twofer: George Bush's economic policies and Dick Cheney's foreign policy. But you know what? That's a risk we can't afford to take.

GONYEA: From Columbus, it was off to Cleveland where a special guest warmed up an even larger crowd gathered downtown at dusk.

(Soundbite of song "The Rising")

Mr. BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN: (Singing) Come on up for the rising. Come on up, lay your hands in mine.

GONYEA: Bruce Springsteen told the audience that over his entire career, he's tried to explore the stories of working people and those struggling to make their way. He spoke of the distance that exists between the American dream and the American reality.

(Soundbite of Democratic campaign rally, Cleveland, Ohio)

Mr. BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN (Singer-Songwriter): I believe that Senator Obama has taken the measure of that distance in his own life and in his own word. And I believe that he understands in his heart the cost of that distance in blood and in suffering in the lives of everyday Americans. I believe as president he will work to bring that promise back to life.

GONYEA: Springsteen then introduced Obama who took the stage with his wife, Michelle, and daughters Malia and Sasha. The candidate in his speech again focused on jobs, but also on Iraq, promising to end the war. And he spoke of the need to turn the page on the Bush administration. Then, 12 minutes into Obama's speech, the skies opened up and the heavy rain began to fall.

(Soundbite of Democratic campaign rally, Cleveland, Ohio)

Senator OBAMA: No, that's all right. We've been through an eight-year storm, but a new day is dawning. Sunshine is on the way. We've just got two more days of these clouds.

GONYEA: Obama wrapped up the day with a late rally on the football field at the University of Cincinnati. He again urged people to go vote and make phone calls and knock on doors to drive a huge turnout. Campaign officials seem relaxed and confident. They are expecting good news tomorrow night. Don Gonyea, NPR News, Cincinnati. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

You're most likely to find NPR's Don Gonyea on the road, in some battleground state looking for voters to sit with him at the local lunch spot, the VFW or union hall, at a campaign rally, or at their kitchen tables to tell him what's on their minds. Through countless such conversations over the course of the year, he gets a ground-level view of American elections. Gonyea is NPR's National Political Correspondent, a position he has held since 2010. His reports can be heard on all NPR News programs and at NPR.org. To hear his sound-rich stories is akin to riding in the passenger seat of his rental car, traveling through Iowa or South Carolina or Michigan or wherever, right along with him.
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