[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/POLITICS/10/28/battleground.tuesday/art.colo.biz.cnn.jpg caption="Susan Melching calls enduring current economic conditions 'a very frightening experience.'"]
(CNN) - Even before the current economic crisis, voters listed the economy as the top issue in the presidential election.
In a CNN.com special report, Battleground Voters, we talked to voters in five battleground states - Colorado, Florida, Missouri, North Carolina and Ohio - to find out how the economy would influence their choice for president.
In the first of four parts, we talked to small-business owners, who have been at the center of John McCain's and Barack Obama's plans on how they would get the ailing economy back on track.
CNN's special report on battleground voters continues Wednesday with a look at students, Thursday with retirees and Friday with unemployed voters.