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Lunch break in Lakeland

MapdataLAKELAND -- More than one out of five residents of this town between Tampa and Orlando are black. So it's not hard to find voters excited about Democrat Barack Obama, the first African-American presidential nominee.

"I'm so proud of him, even if he doesn't get to be the president,'' said Pat Moore, 52, who was born and raised here. "Times have certainly changed."

Like just about everybody, Moore's top concern is the economy. She was on her lunch break from work at Lakeland Regional Medical Center and had treated herself to a Filet-O-Fish combo from McDonald's. She usually brings lunch.

"It is indeed a treat,'' said Moore, adding that she struggles to pay her property taxes and mortgage payment. "Tomorrow is payday so I can splurge."

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