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The Winds of Change on the Campaign Trail

   After spending much of the past week talking to voters in Virginia -- a key swing state in the presidential election -- I can say one thing for certain. The voters want change.

   Democrats and Republicans alike had harsh, even poisonous things to say about President George W. Bush, although members of the two parties predictably had very different views of the two candidates.

    But what was striking was the sense of fear I detected from so many voters I interviewed or exchanged emails with for the first installment in my series on the issues at play in the battleground states in the presidential election, which will appear in Sunday's Buffalo News.

   Voters want change, ironically, becasue they're afraid of the change they see all around them now, in this time of war and economic uncertainty.

   James Spencer, 39, an architect and Barack Obama supporter who grew up on Buffalo's East Side and who now lives in Alexandria, Va., summed it up best.

   "This is a very exciting time, but my only concern is that I'm not really sure what either candidate will be able to do because of the economic situation and the war situation," Spencer said. "How much can either of them really do, apart from uncoupling us from the debacle we're presently in?"

-- Jerry Zremski

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