Obama or McCain? Virginia in Dead Heat

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One of the battleground states in the presidential election is Virginia, and a recent poll shows the candidates in a very tight race.

An NBC-Mason-Dixon poll has Obama ahead by just two points -- essentially a statistical dead heat.

CBN News talked to voters in Virginia to find out who they plan to vote for and why.

Be sure to listen to comments from CBN News Political Correspondent John Waage following this report.

Most of the Virginia voters had already made up their minds, like this Barack Obama supporter, who likes his economic plan.

"When he. spread the wealth -- the tax breaks for the under 250 ... $250,000 -- which most of us in America are, so that plays a great deal with me," Dewitt Washington said.

But Obama supporters tended to speak more in generalities when explaining their decision.

Supporting Barack Obama

John Galvin will be voting for Obama

Martin: And why Obama?

Galvin: I want the change.

Martin: What specifically do you like about his policies? Is there a particular issue that you feel like he's strong on?

Galvin: He's not aloft of the people. He seems to be for the people. He hasn't forgot his roots.

Roberta Jacques is another Obama supporter.

"I think he will just bring just difference to the United States. We've seen so much in this last eight years. I used to work for the government, so I know a lot of stuff. But, he's going to bring so much change and excitement for us," Jacques said.

Pam Stratton admits her vote for Obama may be just an emotional one.

"It's more of a maybe an emotional choice, rather than an intellectual one or a combination of both," she said.

Carolyn Kelly is also voting for Obama.

Kelly: I think that it's time that we had a change. Everyone's stressed out in this country as far as the economy is concerned.

Martin: Is there anything specific within the plan that really stood out to you?

Kelly: Um, I'm trying to think. Well, I can't think of it right off right now.

While some Virginia voters had trouble coming up with specifics as to why they plan to vote for a presidential candidate, others didn't, saying they connected with their candidate's stance in areas like social issues and national security.

Mostly supporters of John McCain offered specific reasons in these areas.

Supporting John McCain

Dionne Ferguson says she's voting for McCain.

"He's pro-life, and I'm pro-life. I have the same values as he does, and that's who I want to lead our country," she said.

Bernadette Braunbeck also knows why she's voting for McCain.

"I also am a pro-lifer as well. I think he has very good family values," she said.

Margaret Smith expressed conviction on voting for McCain.

Smith: Yes, as a Christian, I feel I have to vote for John McCain because I am pro-life, and I'm going to have to stand before God at The Judgment Day, to say why and who I voted for in this election, so I have to vote for John McCain.

Martin: Would you say that the pro-life issue is your biggest concern?

Smith: Well, pro-life and terrorism, because economics really doesn't mean anything, 'cause if you can't breathe, nothing else matters, and if we're dead from a terrorist attack, the economy's down the tubes anyway.

Bill Ratliff is leaning toward McCain.

"I think McCain has a very strong national defense type of a platform. As a president, I can see him being more decisive relative to international affairs, and international affairs are I think really a prominent issue now," he said.

Susan Carlson agrees that voting for McCain means keeping a strong national defense.

"Keeping the terrorists out of our country is very, very important. I think he understands foreign affairs a great deal," she said.

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CBN News
Mark Martin

Mark Martin

CBN News Reporter

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