WASHINGTON / NEW YORK, Nov 3: With only three days left before election, President Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney are dashing across key swing states where they have been virtually deadlocked since mid-October.
In addition to a New Hampshire event, the Republican nominee planned to attend on Saturday a rally in Iowa and two others in Colorado. Romney launched his presidential campaign at a New Hampshire event in June 2011.
About 2,000 people, according to Romney’s campaign office, huddled in coats and hats on a chilly tarmac in Iowa to hear him. The GOP nominee declared that his campaign had turned into a movement.
“It’s not just the size of the crowds. It’s the conviction and compassion in the hearts of the people,” Romney said. “It’s made me strive to be more worthy of the support I have received across the country and to cam-paign as I would govern, to speak for the aspirations of all Americans, not just some Americans.”
The juggling act
On his part, President Obama kept in constant touch with the huge emergency effort launched after Hurricane Sandy, despite his intense final weekend on the campaign trail.
He started his day at the headquarters of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in Washington before heading to his first campaign event in the swing state of Ohio.
The president talked to FEMA staff and by phone to governors and mayors from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, amid lingering floods, power cuts and gasoline shortages after the storm.
Obama was also due to campaign in the battleground states of Wisconsin and Iowa before heading to a late-night rally in Virginia with former Democratic Party president Bill Clinton.
Campaign spokeswoman Jen Psaki said that Obama was continuing to manage the relief efforts while on the road.
“In between every single event, he basically walks off the stage, gets on a phone call with governors, mayors and first-responders,” Psaki said.
“He’s focused on it every minute he’s not on the stage.”
Obama left the campaign trail for three days earlier to deal with the storm, which also complicated his Republican foe’s efforts to maintain momentum ahead of the close election on Tuesday.
Obama and Romney remain essentially tied in the race for the White House, according to a Reuters/Ipsos daily tracking poll.
Of the likely voters polled nationally, 47 per cent said they would back Obama while 46 per cent said they would support Romney.
The results fall within the poll’s credibility interval, a device used to account for statistical variation in Internet-based polls.
The two men have been locked in a tight race for weeks.
Meanwhile, President Obama is heading towards election day with an apparent lead over Romney among early voters in key states.
But Obama’s advantage isn’t as big as the one he had over John McCain four years ago, and that gives Romney’s campaign hope that the former Massachusetts governor can erase the gap on the polling day.
About 25 million people already have voted in 34 states and the District of Columbia. No votes will be counted until election day, but several battleground states are releasing the party affiliation of people who have voted early.
So far, Democratic voters outnumber Republicans in Florida, Iowa, Nevada, North Carolina and Ohio. Republicans have the edge in Colorado.