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On Election Eve, Candidates Make Last-Minute Pitch

ROBERT SIEGEL, host:

This is All Things Considered from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.

MICHELE NORRIS, host:

And I'm Michele Norris. It's nearly here. On the eve of the presidential election, a marathon of campaigning. Barack Obama and John McCain and their running mates, Joe Biden and Sarah Palin, are making last-minute appeals to voters in battleground states: Florida, Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Missouri, Colorado, New Mexico, and Nevada. Sad news came midway through the day. Barack Obama's grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, had died of cancer. We'll have more on Dunham's life in just a moment. First, here are the sounds of the final day of nearly two years of campaigning.

(Soundbite of Democratic campaign rally)

(Soundbite of crowd chanting "U.S.A.")

Senator BARACK OBAMA (Democrat, Illinois; Democratic Presidential Candidate): Twenty-one months of a campaign that's taken us from the rocky coasts of Maine to the sunshine of California. We are one day away from changing the United States of America.

(Soundbite of crowd ovation)

(Soundbite of Republican campaign rally)

Senator JOHN MCCAIN (Republican, Arizona; Republican Presidential Candidate): We need to bring real change to Washington, and we have to fight for it.

(Soundbite of Democratic campaign rally)

Senator JOE BIDEN (Democrat, Delaware; Democratic Vice Presidential Candidate): Change is on the way.

(Soundbite of crowd ovation)

(Soundbite of Republican campaign rally)

Governor SARAH PALIN (Republican, Alaska; Republican Vice Presidential Candidate): And are you ready to send us to Washington to shake things up and get to work for all of you?

(Soundbite of Democratic campaign rally)

Senator OBAMA: In these last 36 hours, we can't afford to slow down or sit back or let up, not one minute, not one hour, not one second. Not any time in the next 36 hours, not now.

(Soundbite of Republican campaign rally)

Senator MCCAIN: The pundits have written us off just like they've done four or five times in the past, and my opponent is measuring the drapes in the White House. You know, they may not know it, but the Mac is back.

(Soundbite of crowd ovation)

(Soundbite of Republican campaign rally)

Governor PALIN: It is not negative campaigning to call someone out on their record, their associations, and their plans for this country.

(Soundbite of crowd ovation)

(Soundbite of Democratic campaign rally)

Senator BIDEN: They're calling Barack Obama every name in the book. But ladies and gentlemen, listen to me closely. Tomorrow night they'll have to call Barack Obama something else, the 44th president of the United States of America.

(Soundbite of crowd ovation)

(Soundbite of Democratic campaign rally)

Senator OBAMA: But if in these final hours, you will knock on some doors with me, make some calls with me...

(Soundbite of Republican campaign rally)

Senator MCCAIN: Volunteer, knock on doors, get your neighbors to the polls. I need your vote.

(Soundbite of Democratic campaign rally)

Senator OBAMA: If you'll stand with me and fight with me...

(Soundbite of Republican campaign rally)

Senator MCCAIN: Stand up, stand up, stand up and fight!

(Soundbite of Democratic campaign rally)

Senator OBAMA: I promise you, we will not just win Florida, we'll win this election.

(Soundbite of Republican campaign rally)

Senator MCCAIN: Thank you. Get out the vote. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

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