1. What remains to be decided before the conventions?
Neither Mr Obama nor Mr McCain has chosen a vice-presidential running mate yet.
Obama’s potential running mates
The Democrat has picked a three-member, high-profile selection panel which includes Caroline Kennedy, daughter of the late President John F Kennedy. It is an open question whom he will choose, although Senator Clinton’s campaign has distanced her from the competition.
McCain’s potential running mates
According to Republicans close to Mr McCain’s campaign, Reagan administration veteran AB Culvahouse is advising him on his choice. There are fewer Republicans in Congress, which may restrict Senator McCain’s choice.
2. When and where will the parties convene?
The Democrats will hold their convention in Denver, Colorado, on 25-28 August. The Republicans meet in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on 1-4 September.
3. When do the big debates start?
TV debates are due to be held on 26 September, and 7 and 15 October. The running mates, whoever they turn out to be, will hold a single televised debate on 2 October. Intriguingly, Senators Obama and McCain may also go up against each other in unmoderated, town hall-style debates before the conventions, their campaigns have indicated.
4. Which states can expect special attention on the campaign trail?
Senators McCain and Obama have been focusing attention on the states that could vote either way in November.
The list includes large ones like:
- Ohio and
and smaller ones such as:
- New Mexico,
- New Hampshire,
- * Virginia and
5. Will Mrs Clinton still figure in the election?
She could be angling for a job in Senator Obama’s administration, once he is elected. It is also reported that she would like Senator Obama to help her pay back some of her campaign’s debts and that Bill Clinton could be keen on some kind of role in the Democratic general election campaign.