Things heat up as election day approaches

By now, many Californians must be tired of hearing they don't matter - that the state isn't in play for this year's presidential race, that it's a lock for Democrat John Kerry, that the ultimate decision will be made in faraway places like Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida.

But California has played a role this year and has strong opinions of what should happen Nov. 2.

For example, although the candidates have spent much of their time in recent months stumping through the battleground states, they occasionally made pilgrimages to the Golden State. Why? Cold, hard cash, informs Tri-Valley Herald.

According to Guardian, the latest round of polls in &to=' target=_blank>the US election race shows the presidential candidates more or less tied, with Democratic hopeful John Kerry trailing Republican president George Bush by two or three percentage points, a gap still within a margin of error.

The latest Zogby/Reuters daily tracking poll found Mr Kerry had shaved two points from the president's lead, leaving the Democrat trailing 46% to 44%. The poll of those who describe themselves as likely to vote in the November 2 election was conducted after the third and final presidential debate. The margin of error was 2.9 percentage points.

With both candidates battling for every last vote, Bush holds a four-point edge in the suburbs and the two candidates are tied in small cities, the poll found. Kerry comfortably leads Bush among urban voters and Bush holds a strong lead among rural voters.

Kerry, who is Catholic but has sparked opposition among some Catholic bishops by supporting abortion rights, now leads among Catholic voters by 4 percentage points.

The poll of 1,211 likely voters was taken Friday through Sunday and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.9 percentage points. The rolling poll will continue through November 1 - the day before the election.

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