Vote '08: Voter Knowledge

JONESBORO, AR  (KAIT)  --  With the presidential election only days away, early voters are heading to the polls to cast ballots. More than 164,000 people have cast votes in Arkansas and a new Region 8 News tracking poll showed voters know where their candidate stands on issues.

Region 8 News tracked the votes of 10 people on 3 issues; economy, wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and healthcare. Seven of the 10 said they voted for Sen. John McCain.

On the economy, Kenneth Wallace, a McCain supporter, said his candidate is the best choice to fix the economy. "I don't agree with what congress has done. The best fix is when you fix it yourself rather than lean on big brother to bail you out," said Wallace.

That statement was in line with McCain. He said he wants to help homeowners if they are "legitimate borrowers" and not speculators.

Sen. Barack Obama has said he would help homeowners by issuing a 10% tax credit on annual mortgage payments.

Issue #2 is the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which is deeply divided along partisan lines. Aloenda Sloan, an Obama supporter, said she's ready to see war in Iraq over. "I believe the war in iraq, you know, we need the soldiers home," said Sloan.

Sloan's most important issue is Iraq. Obama said he favors a complete withdrawal of combat troops from Iraq within 16 months. He would send an additonal 7,000 troops to Afghanistan.

McCain said he'd support the troop increase in Afghanistan, but would not support a timetable for Iraq. He'd also consider a permanent U.S. presence in Iraq, but with peacekeepers instead of U.S. military forces.

Finally, Region 8 News asked voters about the candidates' stances on healthcare.

McCain supporter Roy Smith said healthcare is his most important election issue, and he went with his gut feeling. "I just turned 63 and I'm trying to get my healthcare set up and everything," said Smith.

Obama supporter Donnell Luckie said he believes Obama is more prone to helping everyone. "I just had a situation where my wife had to have major surgery, and my healthcare fell short of that," said Luckie.

Both Smith and Luckie could look at either candidate on healthcare. McCain and Obama agree it's important, but disagree on how it should be funded.

Obama has said he supports more government intervention to help make healthcare more affordable through a person's employer, while McCain has promised to give a $2,500 tax credit for individuals and $5,000 tax credit for families.