Democrats are gathering for their party convention in Denver, Colorado as the election campaign shifts up a gear.
Here eight Democratic voters from across the US look ahead to the convention and reflect on the state of the party and their candidate Barack Obama.
Graduate student | Democrat
My primary concern going into the election is foreign policy
"I want to see the party united 100% behind Barack Obama.
Lives: New York
Occupation: Graduate student
Last election voted:
In 10 words or less: Activist, worldly, liberal, cosmopolitan
It perturbs me to come across surveys like the CBS poll in June - which showed that one out of five Hillary Clinton supporters will be voting for John McCain in November.
I find this ludicrous. Senator Obama and Senator Clinton share virtually the same positions on a whole host of issues from healthcare reform to foreign policy.
I, too, was a staunch and enthusiastic Hillary supporter during the primary season. But to defect to McCain makes no sense to me. I do not wish to see eight more years of repulsive Republican policies.
Barack Obama's words breathe a new life into politics and his speeches fill me with excitement.
My primary concern going into the election is foreign policy. Our image around the world has been deeply battered.
Even countries like India that have historically held highly positive views of the US are increasingly seeing the country in a negative light.
Having lived in India this past year working with the American India Foundation - a development agency - and having been to Europe during summer breaks only confirmed this for me."
I totally agree with Sumit's views. I was apalled by the comments made by some of the Hilary supporters who are now voting McCain. It does not make any sense. This is really being made into a popularity contest rather than an election.
Nyeatia Richards, Jacksonville, FL
I agree with Sumit. Though I am a lifetime Democrat I have nothing in particular against McCain. He seems to be a good man and I wish he would have gotten the nomination eight years ago. But this country, if it wishes to retain it's position in the world, needs to send a clear message that we are not bent on world domination and that our interests coincide with everyone else's. To do that we need to distance ourselves from the radical Bush administration.
Greg Raines, Austin, Texas
As a Brit with a strong interest in American politics I could not agree more with Sumit's comments. I think that Clinton supporting Democrats who are voting McCain should be ashamed of themselves. They are putting personalities before policies. Everyone knows that there are not huge policy differences between Clinton and Obama yet the difference between Obama and McCain could not be more stark. Another four years of Republican governance will be disastrous for America and the world at large.
Lee, Birmingham, UK
The readers' panel has been selected from as wide a cross-section of people as possible and may not be representative of wider US public opinion.