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Democratic Presidential hopeful Barack Obama made a campaign stop in Springfield on Wednesday. The senator from neighboring Illinois spoke to a packed gymnasium of about 1500 people at Glendale High School. KSMU's Jennifer Moore reports.
Despite southwest Missouri's reputation for being a bastion of conservatism, the turnout for Obama was strong. At 10:00 a.m. on the dot, supporters inside the gym rose to their feet and began chanting the Senator's name in unison. When he arrived with Senator Claire McCaskill, the crowd erupted in a full two minutes of standing ovation.
Obama focused his remarks primarily on the economy, saying his tax cuts would give relief to average Missourians.
"I want to provide a permanent tax cut for middle class families, paid for by closing tax cuts to corporations for loopholes that are already out there," he said.
The senator also spoke on his energy policy, saying the United States is currently wasting huge amounts of energy.
"If we designed our buildings with energy effienciency in mind, we could cut our electricity consumption by 30 percent," he said.
He also made a goal of cutting the country's oil consumption by 30 percent, and says he wants to explore ways to make fuel-efficient cars more accessible to average Americans.
Obama's stop in Springfield comes just days after his campaign opened nearly two dozen offices in small, rural towns throughout the Show-Me state.
Missouri is still up for grabs in the election, and both the Republican and Democratic candidates are expected to visit again before November.Spokesperson for the Missouri Republican Party, Tina Hervey, Obama's lack of experience as compared to McCain is a major deciding factor for Missourians.
For KSMU News, I'm Jennifer Moore.