THE RACE: Candidates on bustling swing state blitz

AP News
Posted: Oct 24, 2012 12:54 PM
THE RACE: Candidates on bustling swing state blitz

President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney and their running mates are hop scotching from one battleground state to another in a furious bid for last-minute support in a race that remains a statistical dead heat.

They're after a dwindling pool of undecided voters while seeking to energize supporters.

Obama was on a two-day non-stop blitz of eight states, including an appearance on "The Tonight Show" with Jay Leno and an overnight aboard Air Force One.

Also, "I'm going to stop in Chicago to vote," he told a rally in Davenport, Iowa.

"I had to start in Iowa to ask you for your vote ... so we can finish what we started," he said, noting that his win in the 2008 Iowa Democratic caucuses was "where it all began four years ago."

Around-the-clock campaign trips are not unusual in the final days of a presidential race.

"You fly over, drop in, fly out," Republican Bob Dole joked in his unsuccessful 1996 challenge of President Bill Clinton, which included a 96-hour marathon of airplanes and buses.

Romney also was stepping up his clip, campaigning Wednesday in Reno, Nev., and Cedar Rapids, Iowa before a three-stop swing Thursday through Ohio.

Both campaigns and independent groups are pouring millions of dollars into a final burst of campaign ads in battleground states.

A new ad by the Republican group American Crossroads features actor Clint Eastwood. Last seen at the Republican National Convention speaking to an empty chair, Eastwood now says that a second Obama term would be "a return of the first and our country couldn't survive that."

Obama, meanwhile, was asked by Rolling Stone magazine what costume he'd like Romney to wear on Halloween.

"I don't know about this Halloween," Obama said in the interview. "Next Halloween I hope he'll be an ex-presidential candidate."


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