Barack Obama and John McCain have clashed over their economic plans and other issues in a fractious final TV debate before the US presidential poll.
In a series of testy exchanges, Mr McCain accused Mr Obama of lying and of having ties to a domestic "terrorist".Mr McCain also accused his Democratic rival of wanting to raise taxes.Mr Obama sought to link Mr McCain with President Bush and said he was running a negative campaign. Immediate voter polls found Mr Obama came out on top.A CNN poll of debate-watchers said Mr Obama won by 58% to 31%, while a CBS survey found the Democrat the winner by 53% to 22%.
A poll of undecided independent voters by US network Fox also suggested Mr Obama was the victor.McCain's reference to Mr Obama's association with Bill Ayers, once a member of a US group that waged a violent campaign against the Vietnam War, continued the main Republican line of attack from the past 10 days.
Mr Obama rejected Mr McCain's criticism over Mr Ayers - now a university professor with whom he has served on a charity board - pointing out that he had been a child at the time of Mr Ayers' radical activities."Mr Ayers is not involved in my campaign," he said.Mr McCain, senator for Arizona, also accused Mr Obama of big spending on attack ads.The Illinois senator responded that 100% of Mr McCain's political adverts had been negative and that voters were more interested at this point in how the candidates planned to fix the economy.