With their final debate behind them, Senator Barack Obama admonished his supporters on Thursday to avoid overconfidence and Senator John McCain warned that his Democratic opponent would raise taxes on small-business owners, as the two candidates opened the final chapter of a 19-day sprint to the election, writes The New York Times.

Both campaigns released new commercials on Thursday, which were made overnight after the debate at Hofstra University on Long Island. Mr. Obama’s message sought to tie Mr. McCain to President Bush, charging that his rival would “keep spending $10 billion a month in Iraq while our own economy struggles — same as Bush.” For his part Mr. McCain in his ad distanced himself from the administration, saying “We need a new direction, and I have a plan.”

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Peter Fray

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