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The town that learned to love George Bush
"I thought I was coming for one year," she says. "That was the agreement. All the way through Texas I was fine. But when I came into town and saw all the oil tanks I just started crying. It was pretty ugly and you could smell the oil."
In the deep south, salad comes with fried chicken and race comes with everything
In the run-up to polling day, Gary Younge is driving the 2,147 miles from John Kerry's base in Boston, Massachusetts to George Bush's home town of Midland, Texas. Today he reaches Bill Clinton's old home state, Arkansas
Braving Springfield's anti-gay backlash
"Curious about what?" I ask. "I'll talk to you later," said Cleo Toris (run the two names together quickly) to the laughter of the mainly gay and lesbian crowd at the Black Tie Affair in Springfield, Missouri.
Under the Veil, Who’s for Kerry?
Driving down Michigan Avenue in Dearborn, a woman in a chador takes her hand off the steering wheel of her SUV to light a Marlboro. Through the half-open window she exhales smoke and Lebanese pop music. As she turns into the Dunkin’ Donuts her bumper reveals a frayed sticker: Vote Kerry/Edwards.


Campaigners for Ralph Nader holding a
Brush-off for new broom Nader
The few hours spent in Illinois offer a brief respite from the political advertisements that dominate the airwaves in the swing states. Once in Iowa they are back, with the soft rock and hardcore evangelism that form the staples across the country.
Any means necessary
"Today's election is not a legitimate election," said Abdul Satar Sirat, after he and the other disgruntled candidates had met in his house. Bush's national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, knew better. "This election is going to be judged legitimate," she said. "I'm just certain of it." When it comes to fixing elections, the Bush administration has a way of making the lame walk.
Under siege since 9/11, Arab voters shift to Kerry
Dearborn, a suburb of Detroit, is the hub of Arab America. When the car plants of the Motor City had attracted all the labour they could from African-Americans fleeing tyranny and poverty in the deep south, they went for those fleeing poverty and war from the global south.
State that knows shape of things to come
Between them they represent the two countervailing trends that are shaping the election here - the decline in heavy industry and the rise of holy doctrine.
'God has a plan. Bush will hold back the evil'
I ask him what will happen if I don't. "Eternal judgment," he says. "Hell."
Sit in a New Hampshire diner long enough and you may well meet the next president
The leaves, ripe with autumn and fluttering in Hurricane Jeanne's tail, blend chocolate, lime, ruby and gold.
Local boy is still the outsider at home
If you are looking for clues to why Mr Kerry's campaign has struggled and why he should not be counted out yet, there are few better places to start than his own front door.
Divided against itself
Since 1964, every incumbent with approval ratings below 50% in the spring of the year when they are running for re-election, which would include Bush, has lost. But then every incumbent who has had an approval rating above 50% at this stage, which would include Bush, has won. The truth is that nobody can predict the outcome of the presidential election. The polls are too volatile, the margins too close and the context in which they are being conducted too precarious. Anything from a large mortar attack in Iraq that kills several US soldiers (Iraqi casualties appear to have little impact on US public opinion) to a plant closure in Ohio could tip the balance either way.
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Stranger in a Strange Land – Encounters in the Disunited States
book review
'It often takes an outsider to look inside. This is especially true of the United States.'
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