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Last Updated: Friday September 26 2008 15:53 GMT

Obama and McCain set for showdown

John McCain and Barack Obama

The two men battling it out to be the next president of America are supposed to be going head-to-head for the first time on Friday night.

Barack Obama and John McCain have been campaigning hard for months to win people's votes.

But Friday night could be the first time they'll come face-to-face live on American TV, to debate world issues.

But now John McCain's keeping everyone guessing about whether he'll turn up because of the money crisis over there.

He's argued that the debate should be cancelled because of the big financial problems America is facing.

Pres Pack
If it does go ahead it'll happen in the middle of the night our time, so Newsround's 'Pres' Packers in America will be watching carefully to let YOU know what happens.

We've hooked up with some kids in the town of Culpeper in the State of Virginia, who will be sending us webcams to keep us updated throughout the elections.

Here are the first ones from our 'Pres Packers'...


Mary Kate

Mary Kate says debates between the presidential candidates are really important.


Erick
Erick thinks there are big differences between Republican John McCain and Democratic Barack Obama.


Elena

Elena thinks the debates will reveal some important things about the candidates.


The elections might be happening thousands of miles away, but they're still really important to us in Britain.

Decisions made by the US government - like whether to go to war for example - often affect people around the world.

Mr Obama and Mr McCain are both really different, so the outcome of the elections could make a big difference to our lives in the future.

There are two more debates next month, before America goes to the polls on 4 November.