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.
Student | Democrat
I'm keeping my fingers crossed for an Obama win!
"My biggest concerns going into the convention and general election are the economy and infrastructure of the nation.
Lives: Chelsea, Michigan
Last election voted:
Too young to vote
In 10 words or less: Honest, diplomatic, open to debate
Michigan, with its high unemployment rate and focus on blue-collar industries, really has been feeling this slump more than some other states.
Nation-wide our bridges, dams, and other works built during the New Deal and earlier are crumbling - to the detriment of the economy and our continued welfare.
I'm not so keen on McCain's stance on the economy and investment. The various tax cuts and economic programmes he suggests sound too much like Bush's for my liking.
I really hope to see the party come out of the convention with a much more unified voice. Hillary has already begun campaigning for Obama this season. But there's still strain between Clinton and Obama supporters. Hopefully this division can be addressed over the coming days.
Obama's campaign is exciting. I really think he can win this election, especially if the rift with Hillary's supporters can be healed.
As for Joe Biden as Obama's running mate – he's not the worst choice but picking an old white guy seems somewhat detrimental to the campaign's message.
Locally, most Obama supporters seem to be middle-class. The farmers, lumber yard workers and other working class locals don't seem as enthusiastic about him. But I'm hoping that Obama's campaign will begin to appeal to them more as November draws closer.
I'm keeping my fingers crossed for an Obama win!"
I agree with you Mike! I'm hoping Obama is our next president. People are listening way too much to the Republican babble, just like they did the last two elections. And look where it got us? Stuck with Bush and his clowns!
A J Staebler, Brighton, MI
I couldn't have said it better myself young man. Well put!
Dawn Nelson, Birmingham, Michigan
I hear you, Mike. But how can a candidate who can't even bring himself to SAY "working class" (see his description of Biden) be expected to benefit us? Until America admits it has class divisions, and we've had plenty of reminders in the last few years, we aren't going to be able to do much about them.
James Pollard, North Haven, CT USA
James: yes, I agree that America has class issues, but I don't think they'll be too big a problem in an Democratic administration.
Even though Obama won't say mention them in speech, I still feel he will help the working class through the usual Democratic economic and social legislation and liberal policies.
One example - the Democrats have a good enough record on unions and unionisation in the workplace. I figure having a Democratic President, along with the likely Democratic House and Senate seat gains, would be more friendly to labour unions and help strengthen them where they need it most.
Michael Kundak-Cowall, Michigan
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.