Barack Obama presided Sunday over two Colorado rallies that together drew about 150,000 people, a giant turnout in a key swing state.
In Denver, where he claimed the Democratic party nomination two months ago, Obama stepped on stage and was amazed by the big crowd.
“Goodness gracious,” Obama said as peered at the human mass in Civic Center Park.
Smelling victory, supporters even lined the steps of the state capitol building, which was so far from the stage that people needed binoculars just to hope to see Obama.
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At a later rally at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Obama spoke to an estimated 45,000-50,000 people .
Obama's campaign is capitalizing on the scope of such rallies to get people to cast votes early, permitted in Colorado and more than two dozen other states.
“How many people have early voted?” Obama said, eliciting cheers from people bundled up in fleece.
Still, wary of complacency or overconfidence, Obama keeps warning supporters that they must fight for the rest of the campaign.
Obama ended his day in Colorado by calling voters directly at a campaign office.
His opponent, Republican John McCain, is needling Obama for starting his victory lap before winning.
For his part, McCain said Sunday that he and President Bush share a “common philosophy” but insisted that he is his own man on NBC's “Meet the Press” .
In the half-hour interview nine days before the election, McCain asserted he has bucked the president and his party on spending, Iraq and climate change, a record that he said proves his distance from Bush.
Later, McCain held a rally with about 2,000 people in Iowa, then traveled to Ohio. He continued to accuse Obama of wanting to “spread the wealth around” and urged supporters to ignore polls that show him falling behind.