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Nation/World

October 26, 2012

Obama pressures Romney to break his Mourdock ties

(Continued)

“This election is not about me,” Romney told a 3,000-person crowd at a southern Ohio manufacturing company. “It’s not about the Republican Party. It’s about America. And it’s about your family.”

Romney has disavowed Mourdock’s comments, but his campaign says he continues to support the Indiana Republican’s Senate candidacy.

Less than two weeks from Election Day, both candidates feverishly campaigned across the country in an exceedingly close race.

Opinion polls show Obama and Romney tied nationally. A new Associated Press-GfK poll of likely voters had Romney up 47 percent to 45 percent, a result within the poll’s margin of sampling error. But the race will really be decided by nine or so competitive states: Ohio, Florida, Virginia, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Iowa, Wisconsin, Nevada and Colorado.

The urgent task for both campaigns is to cobble together wins in enough states to cross the 270 threshold.

Obama advisers have identified at least three viable options. Winning Ohio, Iowa and Wisconsin would put him over the top, as would winning Ohio, Iowa and Nevada. A five-state combination of Iowa, New Hampshire, Wisconsin, Nevada and Colorado would also seal the deal for the president’s re-election.

Romney’s team has yet to publicly outline any specific pathways to 270. Without a win in Ohio, however, the Republican nominee would have to sweep every other competitive state.

That reality was the motivation behind Romney’s daylong swing through three Ohio cities yesterday. Obama was to finish his day in Ohio, too, the final stop on his marathon, two-day drive for votes.

An upbeat Romney proclaimed his campaign had the momentum heading into Election Day. But there were signs in Ohio, as well as Virginia, that his surge following the first debate might have run its course.

In Ohio, internal Republican and Democratic campaign polls this week showed Obama with a lead, just outside the margin of sampling error.

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