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Housing, jobs and retirement stay on voters' minds

Attendees celebrate as confetti and balloon drop after Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney accepted the nomination during the final day of the Republican National Convention at the Tampa Bay Times Forum in Tampa, Fla.

Here we are, smack dab in the middle of convention season. Cue the balloons. The Republicans had their turn last week, the Democrats come next. And there are plenty of personal finance issues being aired by the two guys who want to be president. But what are the issues voters are most interested in?

Marketplace's David Gura recently traveled through both states hosting this year's conventions as part of our coverage of the how all the tub-thumping plays out where it really matters: the economy.

Gura started down the I-4 corridor, which cuts through Daytona Beach, Orlando and site of the Republican Convention, Tampa. That highway has a high concentration of undecided voters. Some view it as the line between the more conservative north and more liberal south.

The housing crisis is still alive and well in the Sunshine State. Gura said there were still many "For Sale" signs on properties along the I-4.

North Carolina seems to have converted concerns about the slowdown in manufacturing into looking into new high-tech industries, such as biotech. Gura said that North Carolina's community and technical colleges have stepped up to provide adequate training for future employees of new tech companies in the state.

"Everyone talked about how in the last couple of years either they or people they know have been given 'an opportunity,' that's how they describe it," Gura told Lazarus. "And of course, you read between the lines there, the opportunity is they've been laid off or they saw the writing on the wall, they were gonna be laid off. And that was a chance for them to go back to school, get new skills, to maybe think about where they might be working in a couple of weeks, in a couple of months, in a couple of years even."

So who did these voters say they'll vote for come November? Take a listen to the interview above to find out.

About the author

David Gura is a reporter for Marketplace, based in the Washington, D.C. bureau.

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