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Could New Hampshire hold the key? Romney and Obama take no chances.

Both Obama and Romney are squeezing in last-minute visits to New Hampshire this weekend, and their campaigns are running at full speed. And all for 4 electoral votes.

By Staff writer / November 3, 2012

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney carries five month-old Levi Vandenberg after plucking him out of the crowd while greeting supporters at a campaign rally in Newington, New Hampshire Saturday.

Brian Snyder/REUTERS

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Manchester and Nashua, N.H.

President Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney are squeezing in some final visits to the Granite State to ensure that their voters’ support is rock solid come Tuesday.

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New Hampshire may have just four Electoral College votes, but no one forgets that those could have won Al Gore the presidency in 2000. He lost here by just over 7,000 votes.

About 700,000 voters are expected at New Hampshire polls on Tuesday. There’s no early voting in the state, except by absentee ballot, so last-minute attention from the candidates can be key.

At a rally Saturday morning, Mr. Romney declared that “New Hampshire gave me the Republican nomination and New Hampshire is going to get me to the White House.”

Romney will return to New Hampshire on the eve of the election for what’s being dubbed the “Final Victory Rally,” a concert with Kid Rock.

“It speaks to how much Governor Romney really does treasure this state,” says campaign spokesman Tommy Schultz. “He began his campaign here….  In many ways it’s full circle coming back to where it started.”

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There’s more work cut out here for the Romney campaign, according to polls. As of Saturday morning, an averaging of recent polls by the website RealClearPolitics had Obama at 49 percent and Romney at 47 percent. The New York Times blog FiveThirtyEight by Nate Silver said Friday that Obama had a 77.8 percent chance of winning New Hampshire.

Still, amid a four-day flurry of visits to at least six states, Mr. Obama is slated to appear in Concord, N.H., Sunday morning. By his side will be former President Bill Clinton, who was busy pulling extra campaign duty this past week while Obama turned his attention to the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

There are two ways to interpret Obama’s 11th-hour appearance here, says Dante Scala, a political science professor at the University of New Hampshire. “Either things are worse than they look in the polls … or [organizers] are working from an excess of caution and they want to make sure that New Hampshire stays nailed down. I tend to think it’s the latter.”

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