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US election campaign enters final countdown -

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US election campaign enters final countdown

Broadcast: 03/11/2008


TONY JONES, PRESENTER: It's been a long and expensive two-year campaign and with just 24 hours to
go, America's presidential race is set to make history, whatever the result.

Barack Obama is still ahead in the polls, but he's warning against complacency, while his rival
John McCain is adamant he can still win.

Lisa Millar reports from Washington.

LISA MILLAR, REPORTER: On a wet and cold night in Ohio, "the Boss" was brought in as the warm up
act; Bruce Springsteen, urging the crowd to maintain their support for Barack Obama.

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN, SINGER/SONGWRITER: From the beginning, there's been something in Senator Obama
that's called upon our better angels.

LISA MILLAR: And it was here at this rally that the Democrat candidate gave the first sign he might
be starting to relax about Tuesday's vote.

BARACK OBAMA, DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You start thinking that maybe we might be able to
win an election on November 4.

LISA MILLAR: He might be ahead in the polls, but the Illinois senator can't afford complacency to
seep into his campaign. The Obama team is still churning out new advertisements, the latest making
the most of Vice President Dick Cheney's endorsement of his Republican colleague.

BARACK OBAMA: This endorsement from Dick Cheney didn't come easy; Senator McCain had to vote 90 per
cent of the time with George Bush and Dick Cheney to get it.

LISA MILLAR: John McCain has struggled to distance himself from the Bush White House; Dick Cheney's
endorsement wouldn't have been sought. He can still have a few laughs, though, appearing on
Saturday Night Live and making fun of his age and the campaign's lack of funding.

JOHN MCCAIN, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE (on Saturday Night Live): Would I rather be on three
major networks? Of course! But I'm a true maverick - a Republican without money.

LISA MILLAR: It could have been a risky tactic, but with the polls showing no signs of moving in
his favour, John McCain's options are slim. This Vietnam War hero isn't giving up.

JOHN MCCAIN: I know when momentum is there. This enthusiasm, this kind of welcome - we're gonna win
Pennsylvania and we're gonna win this election! My friends, the Mac is back!

LISA MILLAR: The Mac is back in what was once safe Republican territory. John McCain's having to
defend even his own state of Arizona. Barack Obama is airing ads here and making inroads.

Both camps are now concentrating on making sure their supporters come out to vote.

Lisa Millar, Lateline.