TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) _ In Florida alone, some 600,000 blacks haven't registered to vote, Michelle Obama told a rally on Saturday.
She and Jill Biden capped a two-week voter registration drive that included stops at several schools on the Florida A&M campus.
"We've seen young people finding their voices and casting their votes for the first time,'' Obama said. "And not-so-young people who haven't felt this way about an election in years.''
The Obama campaign will need those relatively untapped voter pools _ the young, and new minority voters _ to prevail in November.
"Every day, every hour, every second counts,'' Obama said. "We're down to 39 days before folks go down to the polling place to make this choice.''
Obama said the issues at stake _ such as the Iraq war, financial crisis and health care system _ were personal for people, not just political.
"That's why we're all so pumped up and fired up and ready to go,'' Obama said. "This is personal, and I know everyone here feels how personal this is. We're feeling it every day, all of us.''
Biden, a community college professor, sympathized with students who aren't getting enough public funding. She said several at her college have had to quit because they couldn't buy books or afford tuition.
"My students cannot afford another four years that look like the last eight, and I know you can't either,'' Biden said. "Michelle's husband and my husband get that, and they will fight for the change we all need.''
Obama has pulled ahead in recent polling as the economic meltdown takes center stage.