US election diary

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The Independent US

For Senator John McCain, Samuel "Joe" Wurzelbacher's catapult into the national consciousness may have backfired somewhat but that hasn't stopped Obama from finding his own Joe the plumber.

The Huffington Post internet newspaper reports that voters in Colorado are receiving "robocalls" – automatic, recorded telephone calls – from a Colorado plumber called Joe Martinez. He tells voters: "Take it from Joe the plumber, if you want a president who will put middle class families first – join me in voting for Barack Obama."

* Many observers saw John McCain's choice of Sarah Palin as his running mate as a play for female voters but it seems the Alaska Governor is becoming more of a hit with the fellas.

The New York Times reported that the crowds turning up to hear Ms Palin speak are stacked in favour of the guys, with one female supporter at a rally in Weirs Beach, New Hampshire, estimating the ratio as "70-30, maybe 65-35, men to women." One of these men, who gave his name as "John Deere", said of Palin: "She's beautiful ... I came here to look at her."

* If you're a concerned citizen or eager reporter who's keen to grab a look at Sarah Palin's state emails, it looks like you're going to need deep pockets. Those who have made the request have been quoted a price of up to $15m (£8.7m) for the privilege, reports MSNBC.

They give the example of a request from AP to see all state emails received by "first dude" Todd Palin. AP were told that to search each state employee's emails would cost $960.31, and with 16,000 employed full-time by the state, this meant that the total quote would be $15,364,960. If you decide this is worth paying, then don't hold your breath – it's likely you won't receive the emails until long after the election has passed.

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