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Obama, Romney focus on swing states in final campaigning

November 05, 2012 15:01 IST

A photo finish to the White House was predicted by final United States poll surveys with rivals Barack Obama and Mitt Romney deadlocked as the gruelling 18 month campaign entered its last moments.

The race for the White House has narrowed to 10 swing states ahead of Tuesday's election for the world's most powerful job, with Obama and Romney engaged in last minute frenetic efforts to break into each others' votebanks.

While the incumbent was leading with the women voters, his Republican challenger was ahead as far as the preference of men was concerned.

Obama's strategy on the final day was to cement his last line of defence in the crucial industrial mid west and attempt to pluck away several insurance states from Romney target list.

Romney, who started as an underdog but grew into a formidable opponent, dashed through Iowa and Ohio, trying to break into the Democrat citadels, telling voters that Obama's record, particularly on the economy, did not warrant a return to the White House.

The prestigious Pew Research Center, in its latest opinion poll, said that Obama has edged Romney in the final days of the presidential campaign by holding a 48 per cent to 45 per cent lead over Romney among likely voters.

With the election just a day away, campaigning will end on Monday night, bringing down the curtain on several months of high voltage exchange of words between the two candidates, which often turned bitter and nasty.

Continuing their hectic election campaign as in the past few days, both candidates are scheduled to address a series of meetings crisscrossing the battleground states, beginning early in the morning till late in the night.

Obama, 51, and First Lady Michelle, are scheduled to return to their home town of Chicago, which is also their campaign headquarters, post mid-night, after holding meetings in Wisconsin and Ohio. Obama would end his election campaign in Des Moines, Iowa.

Michelle Obama will deliver remarks in North Carolina and Florida before introducing the President at his final campaign event in Des Moines, Iowa.

"The first lady will remind the American people about how far the nation has come over the last four years and will encourage supporters to help get every last supporter to the polls on Election Day," the Obama campaign said.

The latest Pew poll also found that Hurricane Sandy may have given Obama a boost as 69 per cent of likely voters approved of the president's handling of the storm.

Another poll by CNN on late Sunday showed the race deadlocked at 49 per cent.

Romney, 65, and his aides, however, were exuding confidence. The Republican would be joined by his wife Ann Romney on the final day of the campaign, ahead of the election.

He has dispatched his son Josh Romney to address meetings in Minnesota.

Congressman Paul Ryan, the vice presidential running mate of Romney, would crisscross five States -- Nevada, Colorado, Iowa, Ohio and Wisconsin.

Joe Biden, the Vice President, would address rallies in Virginia where he will make the case that the Obama Administration needed time to finish what it started.

Beginning with an election rally in Florida early in the morning, Romney would then travel to Virginia and Ohio, before ending his campaign in New Hampshire around mid-night.

Lalit K Jha in Washington
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