Obama, Romney: Who will woo the most voters in the final days? (+video)
The polls show the race for president is still a dead heat. In the meantime, President Barack Obama and his Republican rival Mitt Romney scramble to make their final campaign stops in the last few days leading up to the election.
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In Doswell, Romney proclaimed his faith in the future and said, "The American people have what it takes to come out of these tough times."Skip to next paragraph
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In Wisconsin, Obama drew distinctions with Romney but dropped his usual reference to "Romnesia" - the term he uses to describe what he calls Romney's tendency to shift positions.
Swing-state advantage for Obama
Obama has a somewhat easier path to 270 electoral votes than Romney, fueled primarily by a small but steady lead in the vital battleground of Ohio - a crucial piece of any winning scenario for either candidate - and slight leads in Wisconsin, Iowa and Nevada.
Barring any surprises elsewhere, Obama can win a second term by capturing the Midwestern bastions of Ohio, Wisconsin and Iowa, and his schedule was aimed at shoring up his safety net there.
Obama plans to visit Ohio on each of the last four days of the campaign, and plans two more trips to Wisconsin and Iowa. He will conclude his campaign on Monday night with rock singer Bruce Springsteen in Iowa, where a 2008 caucus win launched his run to the presidency.
So far, Obama has planned just one visit each in the final days to Florida and Virginia, where most polls give Romney a slight lead. Romney will hit Wisconsin and Ohio on Friday, and New Hampshire, Iowa and Colorado on Saturday.
Romney plans to finish up his campaign on Monday night in New Hampshire, the state where he launched his bid last year.
Romney's campaign has aired ads in recent days in the Democratic-leaning states of Michigan, Pennsylvania and Minnesota, hoping to put them in play after polls showed the races tightening but Obama still ahead.
The campaign said Romney would visit Pennsylvania on Sunday, marking his first campaign visit since the nominating convention to one of his new target states. A win in Pennsylvania would be a crippling blow to Obama, but most public polls still show Obama leading there.
Romney aides said the moves into those three new states were a sign of their growing momentum, although Obama aides described them as a desperate ploy to find new paths to 270 electoral votes.
Most swing-state polls have found Obama clinging to slender leads in five of the eight most heavily contested states - Ohio, Wisconsin, Iowa, Nevada and New Hampshire. In most polls, Romney has a slight lead in Florida, while Virginia and Colorado were effectively tied.
A Reuters/Ipsos online poll on Thursday showed Obama with a 5-point lead in Virginia, and 2-point leads among likely voters in both Ohio and Florida. Romney led by 1 point in Colorado in the Reuters/Ipsos polls.