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Romney promises revitalized economy

DEFIANCE, Ohio — Mitt Romney is trying to close the deal with voters by promising to revitalize the economy, an area where polling shows the Republican presidential nominee has an edge heading into the final days of the campaign. As President Barack Obama takes a break from the campaign trail, Romney was promoting an economic address in swing state Iowa to help win the dwindling number of voters yet to make up their minds. While the speech was not expected to break new ground, Romney’s campaign said he would use ...

AP-GfK poll: Race still a dead heat

WASHINGTON — What gender gap? Less than two weeks out from Election Day, Republican Mitt Romney has erased President Barack Obama’s 16-point advantage among women, a new Associated Press-GfK poll shows. And the president, in turn, has largely eliminated Romney’s edge among men.
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How Colorado became razor-close

MORRISON, Colo. — Four years ago, Barack Obama used this state as both a stage for his nominating convention and a place to show how his new brand of politics could unite young voters, women and minorities to create a winning coalition even in places that normally back Republican presidential candidates. Now Colorado has become an example of how hard it has been for him to maintain that coalition against the headwinds of a sour economy and his own disastrous first debate performance in Denver.
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Romney remains calm as momentum grows

WASHINGTON — Republican Mitt Romney is acting like a challenger who feels he has enough momentum and time to overtake the president by Election Day, two weeks from now. Judging from Monday’s final debate, President Barack Obama almost seems to agree.

Obama, Romney bear down on battlegrounds

NEW YORK — President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney are returning to the sometimes-nasty rhetoric of a close presidential campaign after a brief truce, renewing their focus on two battleground states and preparing for next week’s final, perhaps pivotal, debate. Romney and Obama set aside their differences — mostly — to poke fun of themselves and each other Thursday night at the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner. Today, it’s back to campaigning in Florida and Virginia, two of just a handful of states that will decide the ...
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Candidates make cases in Round 2

NEW YORK — Maybe it’s a cliché to say the gloves came off in Tuesday’s presidential debate. But then again, maybe not, since the candidates sometimes looked like they were actually about to start boxing. It was a tense and testy exchange at New York’s Hofstra University, featuring a newly energized and forceful President Barack Obama squaring off against a vigorous, stand-your-ground Mitt Romney. But the evening will also be remembered for giving the distinct impression that these candidates were liking each other less and less.

Obama out to steal Romney’s thunder tonight

WASHINGTON — The pressure is on President Barack Obama to deliver a Goldilocks performance in the second debate: Not too cool, as he was in his first, listless encounter with Mitt Romney. And not too hot, as some critics styled Vice President Joe Biden in his faceoff with Paul Ryan. With the race extremely tight and little time left for a breakout moment, Obama is intent on getting the porridge just right in a 90-minute, one-on-one faceoff tonight at 6 p.m. PDT Hofstra University on New York’s Long Island.
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V.P. candidates take off gloves, fight to a draw

DANVILLE, Ky. — In a spirited debate that laid out stark choices, Joe Biden and Paul Ryan teed up pointed arguments on the economy, social policy and America’s place in the world that President Barack Obama and GOP rival Mitt Romney now will drive forward into the campaign’s final stretch. With just 25 days to go in Campaign 2012 and throngs of people already voting, Obama and Romney will try to answer two questions that their running mates posed to the tens of millions of Americans who watched Thursday’s hard-fought, ...
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Team Obama working to halt GOP momentum

DANVILLE, Ky. — Democrat Joe Biden and Republican Paul Ryan pull up a couple of chairs for a vice presidential debate that has mushroomed in importance since Mitt Romney’s strong showing in the first presidential faceoff. This time, it’s the Obama team looking to put the brakes on the other guy’s momentum. The veep showdown matches up two skilled politicians with strong policy credentials and very different styles. It’s 69-year-old Biden’s folksy appeal and solid vice presidential portfolio vs. 42-year-old Ryan’s intensity and extensive knowledge of the federal budget and ...
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Could pepperoni spoil next debate?

NEW YORK — During the next presidential debate, the candidates will be pondering the important questions of our time. But the most controversial may be “Sausage or pepperoni?” Pizza Hut is offering a lifetime of free pizza — one large pie a week for 30 years — or a check for $15,600 to anyone who poses the question to either President Barack Obama or Republican candidate Mitt Romney during the live town hall-style debate next Tuesday.

Presidential campaigns target new citizen voters

SAN FRANCISCO — From Florida to Virginia, Massachusetts to California, candidates and political parties seeking to squeeze every vote from a divided electorate are targeting America’s newest citizens. It’s a relatively small bloc but one that can be substantial enough to make a difference in razor-close presidential swing states and competitive congressional races. In Florida, which President Barack Obama won by less than 5 percentage points four years ago, a new analysis of U.S. Census data shows people who naturalized as Americans since 2000 make up 6 percent of the ...

In close race, Romney showing confidence

SAN FRANCISCO — Exactly one month from Election Day, Republican Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama are both declaring they will win a race for the White House that remains anything but clear. Their trails are crossing again in Ohio, the state that could decide the election, and signs of urgency are emerging from each campaign. “I very much intend to win this election,” Obama told donors in San Francisco Monday night. “But we’re only going to do it if everybody is almost obsessive for the next 29 days.”
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With growing confidence, Romney shifts to center

WASHINGTON — Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney is shifting sharply to the political center as he begins to deliver a closing argument aimed at a slice of moderate, undecided voters a month before Election Day. On taxes, immigration, his “47 percent” comments and more, the former Massachusetts governor has toned down his heated, campaign trail rhetoric this week, including during his strong debate performance Wednesday night, as he looks to gain ground against President Barack Obama in the handful of states that will determine the outcome of the competitive race.
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Romney lands a right hook

DENVER — Little more than a month from Election Day, Republican Mitt Romney is barreling out of the first presidential debate energized by a solid performance that telegraphed his determination to take it to President Barack Obama with gusto. The president, intent on keeping his momentum from stalling, is warning Americans that his GOP rival’s policy prescriptions for a fragile economy are more fantasy than reality. Standing toe-to-toe with the president for the first time in the campaign, Romney held his own and more at a time when there already ...
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Social media don’t wait to weigh in

WASHINGTON — Big Bird is endangered. Jim Lehrer lost control. And Mitt Romney crushed President Barack Obama. Those were the judgments rendered across Twitter and Facebook Wednesday during the first debate of the 2012 presidential contest. While millions turned on their televisions to watch the 90-minute showdown, a smaller but highly engaged subset took to social networks to discuss and score the debate as it unspooled in real time.
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Presidential showdown in Denver

WASHINGTON — As millions of Americans watch, President Barack Obama and challenger Mitt Romney will be chasing opposite goals in their first debate. The key for Obama is to sit on his narrow lead without mishap, while Romney’s challenge is to shake up the race and connect with voters. And while debates are seldom determinative, they can alter the direction or pause the momentum of a presidential contest. Five weeks before the election, the public’s attention is becoming more focused, opinions are gelling and in some states votes are already ...
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Republicans likely to keep control of U.S. House

WASHINGTON — Democrats need to gain 25 seats this year to regain control of the House of Representatives from the Republicans. The prospects are dim. Even a strong showing by President Barack Obama would be unlikely to swing the House to the Democrats and return the majority they lost two years ago. Redistricting, in effect in most places for the first time since the 2010 census, is helping Republicans. So are problems faced by Democratic moderates in conservative and Southern states.
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Obama seeking to avoid miscue

HENDERSON, Nev. — President Barack Obama has one mission heading into his first debate with Republican Mitt Romney: Don’t screw things up. Five weeks from Election Day, Obama has political momentum and an edge in polls of the battleground states that will determine the election. But he’s sure to face a blistering challenge from Romney, who needs to use Wednesday’s debate in Denver to change the trajectory of the race.
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Church leaders crusade to get ‘souls to the polls’

MIAMI — It’s not just the collection plate that’s getting passed around this fall at hundreds of mainly African-American and Latino churches in presidential battleground states and across the nation. Exhorting congregations to register to vote, church leaders are distributing registration cards in the middle of services, and many are pledging caravans of “souls to the polls” to deliver the vote.