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Opinion: Obama Strong Entering Home Stretch

Democrat holds strong leads in the polls as he offers his closing arguments.

The 2008 presidential race is entering the final stretch with a mere eight days remaining. Polls continue to show Sen. Barack Obama (D., Ill.) in the lead over his opponent Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.) by five points and most swing states favor Obama including Colorado, New Mexico, Ohio and Virginia.

At a rally Monday in Canton, Ohio, Obama made his closing argument to voters. "In one week, you can turn the page on policies that have put the greed and irresponsibility of Wall Street before the hard work and sacrifice of folks on Main Street."

Obama is spending much of his time on the campaign trail emphasizing that he plans to offer a middle-class tax cut, while allowing taxes on those earning more than $250,000 to return to levels under President Bill Clinton. Obama's camp says 95% of Americans would receive tax relief under his plans.

Obama also continues to lash out at McCain for favoring corporations and wealthy Americans and painting McCain as a Bush crony:

"And now, after twenty-one months and three debates, Senator McCain still has not been able to tell the American people a single major thing he'd do differently from George Bush when it comes to the economy. Senator McCain says that we can't spend the next four years waiting for our luck to change, but you understand that the biggest gamble we can take is embracing the same old Bush-McCain policies that have failed us for the last eight years."

Obama also is accusing McCain of focusing on dividing Americans, rather than offering solutions to problems, saying that "in one week, you can put an end to the politics that would divide a nation just to win an election; that tries to pit region against region, city against town, Republican against Democrat."

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Obama has a point. McCain has spent the last several weeks making personal attacks on Obama in advertising and through automated phone calls to voters. The attacks play on a tangential relationship between Obama and former Weather Underground member William Ayers. The two sat on an educational board together, and Obama once attended a campaign event at Ayers' house. Obama has denounced the actions of Ayers in the 1960s.

McCain has spent some time attacking Obama ineffectively on the economy. Many, including prominent Republicans like Ken Adelman, expressed concern about his unusual response to the economic crisis, including suspending his campaign to resolve the crisis in Washington, D.C.

McCain's comment Monday suggest he might move his campaign away from personal attacks to hit harder on the economy:

"My approach will lead to rising stock market prices, a stabilized housing market, economic growth and millions of new jobs. Senator Obama's plan will destroy business growth, kill jobs, and lead to continued declines in the stock market and make a recession even deeper and more painful."

On Sunday, McCain optimistically assessed his chances and "guaranteed" a win on Nov. 4. He faces a serious struggle. He's losing to Obama in key swing states, while several other states that supported Bush are in play, including Florida, North Carolina and Missouri. He's given up on Michigan but is maintaining efforts to win Pennsylvania despite trailing in the state by an average of more than 11 points, according the's poll tracking.

Both Obama and the polls remain steady, which augurs well for him and a possible win eight days from now.