08/12/2008 - Public opinion polls give Democrat Barack Obama a narrow lead over Republican John McCain, so the upcoming conventions are important for both presumptive nominees.
President of the Pew Research Center Andrew Kohut says many voters do not pay much attention to the presidential race until the party conventions.
"This is a very important time because people get to see these candidates up close, and they recognize that it is only a relatively short run until they have to make a decision," he said. "And for McCain it could be a period of time where he really gets an advantage in terms of coverage and exposure, which he has not had over the course of this campaign yet."
Listen to Jim Malone's report and read the related story US Presidential Candidates Prepare to Announce Running Mates on the Voice of America Web site.