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Obama, Romney enter last weekend looking for a final edge

Nov. 03, 2012 @ 08:11 AM

PORTSMOUTH, N.H. (AP) — Three days. Nine states — give or take. A magic 270 electoral votes. For President Barack Obama and rival Mitt Romney, the final touch-and-go stretch of campaigning is down to the numbers.

New hiring reports or a new jobless rate. Spending totals or early vote totals. Percentage points and rhetorical points. Frequency of stops or size of crowds. In a game of metrics, each camp is looking for that last measure that will separate them at the finish line.

After holding mostly small and mid-size rallies for much of the campaign, Obama’s team is planning a series of larger events this weekend aimed at drawing big crowds in battleground states. Still, the campaign isn’t expecting to draw the massive audiences Obama had in the closing days of the 2008 race, when his rallies drew more than 50,000.

Obama’s closing weekend also includes two joint events with former President Bill Clinton: a rally Saturday night in Virginia and an event Sunday in New Hampshire. The two presidents had planned to campaign together across three states earlier this week, but that trip was called off because of Superstorm Sandy. And, of course, there is always Ohio, the top battleground of them all.

In a whiff of 2008 nostalgia, some of Obama’s traveling companions from his campaign four years ago were planning to join him on the road for the final days of his last campaign. Among them are Robert Gibbs, who served as Obama’s first White House press secretary, and Reggie Love, Obama’s former personal aide who left the White House earlier this year.

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