This is IN THE NEWS in
VOA Special English.
The November fourth
presidential election in the United States is only about three months
away. The two candidates are in a close
race. Recent opinion studies show voters are most concerned about the economy
and high fuel prices.
One important issue is
taxes. The Democratic Party candidate, Senator Barack Obama, opposes tax cuts
for rich people. But he has promised to
cut taxes for middle income Americans.
The likely Republican Party nominee, Senator John McCain, had opposed
President Bush's tax cut plan for wealthy Americans. But now the Arizona senator supports their continuation.
Barack Obama returned to
talking about the economy and other national issues this week, after completing
a trip to the Middle East and Europe last week. He met with officials in Afghanistan and Iraq and with Israeli
and Palestinian leaders. In the German
capital, Berlin, about two hundred thousand people gathered to hear Senator
Obama speak. They waved American flags
as they cheered. Senator Obama's trip
was meant to improve public opinion of his ability to lead foreign policy and
be commander in chief of the armed forces.
While Mister Obama was
traveling to other countries, Mister McCain visited cities and towns throughout
the United States. Senator McCain's
campaign has complained that media coverage of Barack Obama's trip was unfairly
But recent public
opinion study results do not seem to have changed much since Senator Obama returned
to the United States. The latest Gallup
public opinion study of national registered voters shows Mister Obama leading
Mister McCain by only one percentage point.
The poll represents
opinions gathered between Monday and Wednesday of this week. The race has
remained close between the two candidates throughout the summer.
This week, both
campaigns have been broadcasting negative advertising on television around the
country. One advertisement from the
McCain campaign questions Senator Obama's experience to lead the country. It combines pictures of Mister Obama
speaking to the huge crowd in Germany with images of the famous celebrities
Britney Spears and Paris Hilton. The ad says: "He is the biggest celebrity
in the world. But is he ready to
lead?" The Obama campaign released
its own advertisement that says: "John McCain. Same old politics, same
In addition to long days
of campaigning, both candidates are also in the process of choosing their vice
presidential candidates. The Democratic and Republican nominating conventions
will be held in late August and early September.
And that's IN THE NEWS
in VOA Special English, written by Brianna Blake. You can read scripts and download audio on our Web site,
voaspecialenglish.com. I'm Steve Ember.