Obama looking to woo Floridans

Close to securing the Democratic presidential nomination, Barack Obama has lavished attention on Florida in a bid to heal a rift that could cost the party its chances of carrying the important state in the November election.

A day after a split in two primaries helped move him within 64 delegates of the total he needs for the nomination, Mr Obama detoured from the primary campaign to rally in Florida.

It was one of two states stripped of its national convention delegates for flouting party rules and holding early contests.

Mr Obama, at a rally in Tampa, Florida, increasingly assumed the air of the nominee-in-waiting, sharpening his criticism against Mr McCain, his likely general election rival.

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