ELKTON — Here among the cattle farms and tobacco fields along the Tennessee line, the presidential race is little more than a rumor — albeit a juicy one.
Voters here have been talking more about the presidential race in recent weeks, arguing over who's ahead and why, as well as about the backgrounds and beliefs of Republican John McCain and, especially lately, Democrat Barack Obama.
But unlike their brethren in rural areas of surrounding states, Todd County residents — and most Kentuckians — haven't had the opportunity to see or hear from the candidates themselves.
Obama has stumped personally in rural areas where other recent Democratic candidates rarely ventured, such as southwest Virginia, western North Carolina and southeast Ohio.
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He is running much stronger than 2004 Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry did in rural areas of swing states, pulling into a dead heat with McCain in those areas, according to a recent poll commissioned by the Center for Rural Strategies in Whitesburg.
The telephone survey of 841 likely voters in rural areas of 13 swing states showed Obama slightly ahead of McCain, 46 percent to 45 percent. The poll, conducted Oct. 1-21 by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, has a margin of error of 3.38 percentage points.
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