Page last updated at 11:58 GMT, Tuesday, 26 August 2008 12:58 UK

Voters' Views: Carlos Martinez

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.

Carlos Martinez Metal worker | Democrat

Both McCain and Obama have stumbled in regard to Latinos' concerns so far

Carlos Martinez
Age: 37
Lives: Austin, Texas
Occupation: Unemployed metal worker
Last election voted:
In 10 words or less: Critical, optimistic, curious, concerned humanist, proud father

"If the Democrats have any sense they will use the convention to capitalise on the seething anger so many of us feel with the current government.

I am a left-leaning voter who has been falling out of love with the Democrats since Bill Clinton and the party's embracing of right-wing economic policies.

The Nafta free trade deal signed by Bill Clinton has disproportionately hit the working class in America and Mexico.

Both McCain and Obama have stumbled in regard to Latinos' concerns so far.

But an Obama presidency would be hugely symbolic and would show the world that America is ready to change.

As for winning over white working class Americans, let's not fool ourselves into thinking of them as just a bunch of rednecks.

Sheet metal workers in Austin make more than many college-educated office workers, and I know several metal workers who are ardent Obama supporters.

I would have preferred someone a bit more radical than Joe Biden as Obama's running mate, but he may reassure voters who feel threatened by Obama.

America is heading in the wrong direction. Markets have become more important than the consumers and producers whom they serve.

Obama must strike out a new course should he be elected. If he were to continue as before then this country is in trouble and the Democratic Party is sunk."

Your comments:

Though I'm not as far left as Mr Martinez, his words are pretty much dead on how I feel. I'm angry. I was happy and optimistic when young, and I feared no party. But since the Republicans took over Congress in 199292 its stunning how far down this nation has slid. We are at war in Iraq, for no reason anyone has been able to adequately explain, and appear NOT to be at war in Afghanistan - where our enemies are. I pay almost as much per month for health insurance as I do for my car and I can't even drive that car much because gas prices are so high. I am angry. Very angry. And with good reason.
Scott, Columbus

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.

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific