Republicans are gathering for their party convention in St Paul, Minnesota as the election campaign shifts up a gear.
Here eight Republican voters from across the US look ahead to the convention and reflect on the state of the party and their presumptive nominee John McCain.
Full-time mother | Republican
Independents will appreciate McCain's straight talk
"I have never voted Republican before in my life.
Lives: Renton, Washington
Occupation: Full-time mother
Last election voted:
In 10 words or fewer: I love: husband, kids, home, travel, learning, problem-solving, dogs
But I am so deeply uncomfortable with the Democratic nominee's lack of experience, lack of substance, lack of anything like mettle, that I will vote Republican in this presidential election.
McCain is really a centrist. He's much more likely to achieve anything like political unity than a radical demagogue like Obama.
In fact, he is such a centrist some in the Republican right don't trust him.
The economy is a big issue this election - but I don't think either candidate is particularly strong on this topic.
The environment is also a big issue. McCain has been concerned about the environment for some time. The only problem is that he may have to play to the Republican right who dispute climate change.
I was totally against our invasion of Iraq. But now our troops are there, it is important they do not abandon the Iraqi people to the totalitarianism of murderous zealots. So I support McCain's commitment to remain in the country until the job is done.
Independents aren't looking for party-line rubbish, and they'll appreciate McCain's straight talk the most. Yes, he's 'older than dirt', but in this election his age plays well against Obama's lack of experience.
I'd like to see the Republicans stand behind their candidate and his issues at the convention.
Going into the general election, I want to see Obama pressured to move beyond vague rallying cries like 'hope' and 'change'."
You can add your comments and questions on Elizabeth's views using the form below:
I refer you to the famous Winston Churchill quote; "If you're not a liberal when you're 25, you have no heart. If you're not a conservative by the time you're 35, you have no brain". Only I'd heard it as age 45 for the brain and 21 for the heart.
You've picked up on the "glittering generalities" of Obama. Unfortunately, many others are not as bright as you. We were taught propaganda techniques in school and this is one of them. The lack of discernment in the electorate is very, very disturbing to me.
Anne, Northern IL, USA
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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.