Polls say public wants debate: McCain says he will attend

Republican John McCain says he's going to be at the first presidential debate, even though Congress doesn't have a bailout deal.

With less than 10 hours until the debate was scheduled to start, the McCain campaign announced that the Arizona senator would travel to the University of Mississippi. The campaign said after the forum he will fly back to Washington to continue working on the financial crisis.

The campaign's statement said McCain is optimistic that there has been progress toward a bipartisan agreement. But earlier in the week, McCain said he would delay the debate "until we have taken action to address this crisis."

An Associated Press-Knowledge Networks poll shows the public overwhelmingly wants the presidential candidates to hold their first presidential debate Friday night.

According to the AP-Knowledge Networks poll, people want the debate to go ahead by 60% to 22%, with the rest undecided.

Democratic nominee Barack Obama has said he would be at the debate whether McCain was there or not.

The same poll shows little support for President Bush's proposed $700 billion rescue package. And though most think a bailout is needed, few think it will work.

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