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Obama, Romney campaign with eye on storm forecast

 Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney pauses during a campaign stop at Worthington Industries, a metal processing ...
 Election official Marie Holmes, left, looks over President Barack Obama's drivers license so he can cast his vote during early voting in the 2012 ele...
 President Barack Obama greets supporters at the office of Teamsters local 633 in Manchester, N.H., during an unscheduled visit to Saturday, Oct. 27, ...
 Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks during a campaign rally at the Pensacola Bay Center in Pensacola Fla....
 President Barack Obama holds up a baby at a campaign event at Elm Street Middle School, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012 in Nashua, N.H. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)
 President Barack Obama waves as he leaves a campaign event at Elm Street Middle School, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012 in Nashua, N.H.  (AP Photo/Jim Cole)
 President Barack Obama smiles as he speaks to supporters at a campaign event at Elm Street Middle School, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012 in Nashua, N.H. (AP...
 President Barack Obama speaks to supporters at a campaign event at Elm Street Middle School, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012 in Nashua, N.H. (AP Photo/Pablo ...
 Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney campaigns at the Pensacola Civic Center in Pensacola, Fla., Saturday, Oct...

Romney 2012

Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney pauses during a campaign stop at Worthington Industries, a metal processing ...

Obama 2012

Election official Marie Holmes, left, looks over President Barack Obama's drivers license so he can cast his vote during early voting in the 2012 ele...

Obama 2012

President Barack Obama greets supporters at the office of Teamsters local 633 in Manchester, N.H., during an unscheduled visit to Saturday, Oct. 27, ...

Romney 2012

Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks during a campaign rally at the Pensacola Bay Center in Pensacola Fla....

Obama 2012

President Barack Obama holds up a baby at a campaign event at Elm Street Middle School, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012 in Nashua, N.H. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)

Obama 2012

President Barack Obama waves as he leaves a campaign event at Elm Street Middle School, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012 in Nashua, N.H. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)

Obama 2012

President Barack Obama smiles as he speaks to supporters at a campaign event at Elm Street Middle School, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012 in Nashua, N.H. (AP...

Obama 2012

President Barack Obama speaks to supporters at a campaign event at Elm Street Middle School, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012 in Nashua, N.H. (AP Photo/Pablo ...

Romney 2012

Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney campaigns at the Pensacola Civic Center in Pensacola, Fla., Saturday, Oct...

With an eye on a huge storm threatening the U.S. East Coast, President Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney are starting a 10-day sprint to the finish line in a deadlocked contest revolving around a handful of battleground states.
The approaching Hurricane Sandy forced both campaigns to adjust travel schedules and cancel events. Even at this late date in the campaign, neither side wanted to risk the appearance of putting politics ahead of public safety.
The president was pressing on with a campaign trip Saturday to New Hampshire.
But an email announcing that Vice President Joe Biden's Saturday rally in coastal Virginia Beach, Virginia, had been canceled said the change was "being taken out of an abundance of caution to ensure that all local law enforcement and emergency management resources can stay focused on ensuring the safety of people who might be impacted by the storm."
Romney also canceled a rally in Virginia Beach that was planned for Sunday, and aides said they were also considering scrapping two other events elsewhere in the state. None of Obama's campaign stops had been canceled, but he did adjust his travel schedule slightly. The campaign moved up his planned Monday departure for Florida to Sunday night to beat the storm.
One prominent Romney supporter, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, said Saturday he told the campaign he couldn't travel on Tuesday because he wanted to keep tabs on the storm.
With the Nov. 6 election fast approaching, Obama and Romney are tied nationally. But the president still appears to have more ways to reach the required 270 electoral votes.
Presidents are not elected by national popular vote, but in state-by-state contests that allocate electoral votes. Each state gets one electoral vote for each of its representatives in the House and Senate. And the U.S. capital, Washington, D.C., gets three votes. The winner needs a majority of the 538 electoral votes.
The Obama campaign released a new TV ad Saturday urging Americans when they go into the voting booth to consider Romney's plans to roll back Wall Street reforms, transform the Medicare health care program for the elderly into a voucher-like system and reduce spending on education while at the same time cutting taxes for the rich. The spot will air in Florida, Iowa, Ohio and Virginia, all key battleground states.
The Republican nominee is trying to seize the momentum mantle and turn a wave of Republican enthusiasm into an electoral victory.
"Let's win this," Romney emailed supporters Saturday as he hopped a plane from one important state to another _ Ohio to Florida.
"We're defying odds and holding strong," he told his backers, and urged them to contribute more money to help Republicans keep up the fight.
His running mate, U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, was out early in rainy, chilly Ohio to start a two-day, 400-mile (640-kilometer) bus tour of Ohio's small towns and cities. Ryan planned to be in the state until Monday, trying to connect with the working class voters the Republican ticket needs if it is to deny Obama a second term.
Ryan said Obama has not made the case that Obama deserves another four years in office.
"He can't run on his record. The Obama economic agenda failed not because it was stopped; it failed because it was passed," Ryan told 1,000 supporters at a factory in New Philadelphia in eastern Ohio.
The economy remains the race's dominant issue. But voters who are still undecided aren't likely to be swayed by a mixed report released Friday by the Commerce Department, experts said.
"For the average American, I don't think changes in quarterly GDP" make a big difference in their perception of the economy, said Andrew Kohut, president of the Pew Research Center. "It's certainly good for the president that the number is not bad because that would resonate."
With the Commerce Department reporting a modest 2 percent growth rate unlikely to make a big dent in unemployment, Romney said Obama inherited a bad situation when he took office and "made the problem worse." He criticized Obama for failing to reduce borrowing and spending, protect entitlement programs or reach deals with Republicans.
The report also provided ammunition for Obama: It showed the economy grew for the 13th straight quarter at a rate that _ though modest _ beat expectations. Obama claims progress during his term on fixing the economy, though conceding it hasn't been fast enough, and says Romney's policies would only make matters worse.
Obama's campaign pressed forward with a get-out-the-vote effort that aides said had them leading or tied in every competitive state. The president was eschewing the lofty rhetoric of his 2008 run in favor of warning supporters that skipping out on voting could cost him the election.
"In 2000, Gore vs. Bush, 537 votes changed the direction of history in a profound way and the same thing could happen," Obama said in an interview Friday with MTV where he appealed for support from young voters..
Romney was switching his attention to Florida on Saturday after spending much of the week focused on shoring up support in Ohio. While the Midwestern swing state could be crucial to Romney's re-election prospects, he also faces tremendous pressure to carry Florida, which offers 29 Electoral College votes, the most of any swing state.
Obama carried Florida by just 3 percentage points in 2008 and polls show the candidates tied.
The former Massachusetts governor was scheduled to attend three rallies, the first in Pensacola along the state's conservative Panhandle. He then moves to suburban Orlando before finishing his day with an evening rally just outside of Tampa, the site of the Republican National Convention. Romney was to be joined at all three events by Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.
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Associated Press writers Julie Pace in Washington, Philip Elliott in New Philadelphia, Ohio, and Steve Peoples in North Canton, Ohio, contributed to this report.


Updated : 2021-06-20 08:00 GMT+08:00