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New Mexico Voters React to Final Presidential Showdown

After watching the final presidential debate, a group of voters in the battleground state of New Mexico talk to Judy Woodruff about their reactions to the plans and words of Sen. John McCain and Sen. Barack Obama.

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  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    We invited eight people — four who support Senator McCain and four for Senator Obama — to watch the debate with us. Then we sat down together in the studios of KNME, the public television station here in Albuquerque.

    Leaning toward voting for McCain are: Stephen Dinkel, a student at the University of New Mexico; Margaret Forbes, a realtor; Bill Miera, a small-business owner; and Kim Herron-Singleton, a recruiting manager for a defense contractor.

    Leaning toward voting for Obama are: David Archuleta, an attorney; Pamelya Herndon, deputy superintendent of regulation and licensing for the state of New Mexico; Wayne Lucero, a firefighter; and Tracy Canard-Goodluck, an administrator for a Native American charter school.

    Thank you all for being with us tonight to talk about what you just heard.

    And I'm going to start with you, Steven Dinkel. What did you hear tonight, if anything, that affects the way you view these two candidates?

  • STEVEN DINKEL, Student:

    Nothing. They — it's pretty much the same thing that I've heard before. And this has been a long process, and we've, like I said, we've heard it before.

    But what I do like is the way that they delivered themselves. Obama was a little bit more — not too aggressive, so to say, and McCain had to show that aggressiveness, which he did.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    And, Tracy Goodluck, what about you? What did you hear tonight that affected your thinking about these candidates?

  • TRACY CANARD-GOODLUCK, School Administrator:

    Well, I still am leaning for Obama and will vote for him, so I think it definitely solidified my opinions on that end. I felt that he seemed to me to want to really address the issues and talk about the issues and keep putting the American people front and center. I did not hear that from McCain.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    Margaret Forbes, was that your take on this debate?

  • MARGARET FORBES, Realtor:

    Well, I thought it was a much more, I guess I'll say, genteel debate than the last ones, where they've been really bitter and aggressive with each other and not very — it wasn't valuable, I think, for the whole population.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    Wayne Lucero, how did you see it? Would you agree with that?

  • WAYNE LUCERO, Firefighter:

    Yes, I would. Obama really talked about the issues, and he said how he was planning on trying to fix them. McCain kind of touched on it here and there.