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McCain trailing in Ohio despite backing from 'Joe the Plumber'

world Updated: Oct 29, 2008 20:17 IST

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Despite backing from 'Joe the Plumber,' Republican Presidential nominee John McCain is trailing behind his Democratic rival Barack Obama in Ohio, the key battleground state that is crucial to keeping his White House hopes alive.

The 71-year-old Arizona senator now trails Obama by 6 points in Ohio, 50 per cent to 44 per cent. That gap is two points wider than it was Monday and double what it was one week ago, according to CNN's latest poll of polls of the state.

No Republican has won the presidency without carrying Ohio, and barring a major upset in another big state, the state's 20 electoral votes are a "must win" for McCain, it said.

McCain is expected to spend two full days in Ohio later this week. His tottering campaign is getting some help from 'Joe the Plumber,' who was thrust into the spotlight after questioning Obama about his tax plans during electioneering.

Samuel Wurzelbacher, now better known as 'Joe the Plumber' said, he took aim at Obama, who saying he wanted to redistribute the wealth.

"We're not a socialist country. That bothers me. It scares me. That's the reason why I came out here. I'm really scared for our country," Wurzelbacher said.

"John McCain is spreading an important message for all of us. For small businesses. That's really important," said Wurzelbacher.

While McCain has never met Joe the Plumber, the two have spoken. Asked whether the two will hit the campaign trail together, campaign spokesman Paul Lindsay said Wurzelbacher approached the campaign earlier this week offering to help, and that they are is "open to whatever Joe is comfortable doing."

Meanwhile, a new poll of polls in Florida also shows that McCain trails Obama by 4 points in the state, 49 per cent to 45 per cent. That gap is 3 points higher than it was earlier today and is largely due to a newly released survey from LA Times/Bloomberg showing McCain down 7 points in the state.

Both presidential contenders are scheduled to visit Florida today, looking to capture the state's 27 electoral votes.

Florida's voters have already begun casting ballots. The state's early voting period began on October 20 and runs through November 2. As of Tuesday, about 1.2 million voters cast ballots in person, CNN reported.

John McCain's campaign is banking its fortunes on a come-from-behind win in Pennsylvania, but a new CNN poll of polls of the Keystone state suggests the Arizona senator has made little progress over Obama there over the last week.

According to a statistical average of several recent Pennsylvania polls, Obama, who aspires to be the first black- American president, holds a 10 point advantage over McCain, 52-42 per cent. That's the same lead Obama held over McCain in a poll of polls of the state last week.

With traditional red states such as Virginia and Colorado looking increasingly out of reach for McCain, aides to the Vietnam War veteran have all but said Pennsylvania's 21 electoral votes are a must-win to keep Republican hopes of a White House win alive.

Both McCain and his running mate, Sarah Palin have held several campaign events in the state over the last week as November 4 election day inched closer.