On final lap, Romney, Obama focus on key states

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are storming into the final day of their long presidential contest, mounting one last effort to protect their flanks while engaging in the toughest battleground of all -- Ohio.

The two campaigns are ready to leave matters in the hands of voters and their schedules leave little doubt of where the election will be won or lost. Obama's holding rallies in Wisconsin and Iowa. Romney is cutting a broader swath, with events in Florida, Virginia and New Hampshire.

But the richest prize is Ohio, and on Monday both Obama and Romney will rally their supporters in Columbus, the state capital.



Fla. remains tough sell to end for Obama, Romney

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- Florida is proving to be an expensive and frustrating state for President Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney, right down to the campaign's final minutes.

Its voters resist arguments that play well in Ohio and other places. Both nominees are making stops in Florida in the campaign's final 40 hours.

Florida is a tough sell for Obama's national message of steady economic recovery. Its unemployment and foreclosure rates remain above the national average.

And auto industry ads airing in Ohio would make no sense in Florida. But a well-organized Democratic ground game and a population that's increasingly non-white have given the president hope of winning Florida narrowly.

Romney had hoped to lock up Florida long ago.



'5 Ohios' analyzed in swing state

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Ohio could well decide the next president.

The state has chosen the winner in the last 12 presidential elections, and it's pivotal to the strategies of both President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.

The Ohio winner has usually done particularly well in his party's traditionally strong areas, and better than expected in other regions.

The state's geography is often divided regionally as the "Five Ohios" -- the northeast, northwest, central, southeast and southwest parts of the state.

Obama needs to pile up votes in northeast Ohio, the state's Democratic stronghold, anchored by Cleveland and the industrial towns of Youngstown and Akron.

Romney seeks big numbers in southwest Ohio, where the conservative suburban crescent around Cincinnati is Republican turf.


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