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McCain trying to shore up N.C.

North Carolina is not where John McCain wanted to be doing his wooing in this last week of October.

But as we head into the final full week of Election 2008, both McCain and Barack Obama are focusing attention on only a handful of states – most prominently here and Pennsylvania.

Between today and Wednesday, the campaigns will have six events in North Carolina. Joe Biden leads the way in Greenville and Greensboro today, followed by John McCain in Fayetteville on Tuesday. Michelle Obama will be in Rocky Mount and Fayetteville on Wednesday, with Barack Obama coming that day to an N.C. city not yet announced.

Pennsylvania also is getting much love from the campaigns, especially the Republicans, despite McCain trailing there by 7-12 points in the most recent polling. McCain and Sarah Palin are planning five Pennsylvania events in the next three days, including two together. Obama has stops in Pennsylvania today and Tuesday.

Pennsylvania has awarded its electoral votes to Democrats the past four elections, but insiders from both parties feel the state has uncertain Democrats that McCain might be able to nudge away from Obama this week.

And N.C.? Like Virginia – which also is on campaign itineraries early this week – it's a state George Bush won in 2004 and Republicans counted on this year. Nice as we are, time spent here is time McCain isn't spending in other critical battleground states.

Poll of the day

State

Virginia

Pollster

Public Policy Polling

Numbers

President: Barack Obama 52, John McCain 43

Details

1,231 likely voters; margin of error +/- 2.8 percent

What it means

Obama's lead here comes thanks to independents, who favor him 48-39. An Obama win in Virginia means McCain must win Pennsylvania, Ohio and Florida to get to 270 electoral votes. This nine-point PPP spread for Obama fits with recent polls, which have the Democrat up 2-10 points.

Online readers say …

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Anonymous

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