ROCHESTER, Pa. – Carl Hrelec doesn’t like the word “liberal.” It makes him think of hippies. He does not like the idea of raising taxes on the rich, either – it’s not fair, he believes, “to take money somebody has worked for and give it to somebody else who doesn’t work.” But as he looked out over the dimly lit restaurant he owns in this once-thriving steel town, he said he liked Barack Obama’s proposal for a middle-class tax cut. The Point used to fill with workers from the nearby asphalt and concrete plants. Now, work has slowed, money is tight, and the bar is near-empty some days. “I don’t believe Obama’s a socialist,” said Hrelec, a 58-year-old Democrat who voted for George W. Bush twice, and who is undecided this year. “The working guy in this country needs a break.”

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