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Into the final stretch: Large crowds, high hopes and a tight finish

Two days from judgment by the voters, President Barack Obama raced through four far-flung battleground states on Sunday while Mitt Romney ventured into traditionally Democratic Pennsylvania, seeking a breakthrough in a close race he mused aloud he might lose. Appearing before some of the largest crowds of the campaign, the two rivals stressed their differences on the economy, health care and more while professing an eagerness to work across party lines and end gridlock in Washington. “You have the power,” Obama, the most powerful political leader in the world, told thousands of cheering supporters in New Hampshire, his first appearance
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How the Presidential race shapes up going into final two days

A look at the race between President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney for the 270 electoral votes needed to win the White House. With two days left in the campaign, Obama appears closer to the goal, but Republican Mitt Romney has closed on the Democrat and pulled narrowly ahead in some battleground state polling. The designations are based on an Associated Press analysis and are not intended to predict the outcome of Tuesday’s election. Rather, they are meant to provide a snapshot of a race that has been stubbornly close in the small number of most competitive states all year.
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Chris Christie: ‘I’m still voting for Romney’

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie defended his praise for President Barack Obama after superstorm Sandy, but said he would stick with his fellow Republicans and vote for Mitt Romney in Tuesday’s election. “I endorsed Mitt Romney 13 months ago because I thought he was the best guy for the job,” Christie said on Sunday during a news conference, reaffirming his support for the Republican candidate. But support for Romney does not mean that he cannot appreciate the “good job” that Obama did while responding to the historical storm that hit the U.S. Northeast last week, Christie said. Sandy knocked out
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Obama, Romney still looking for an edge

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
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Secret Service agent assigned to Obama kills himself over affair

A Secret Service agent assigned to protect President Barack Obama and under investigation for an affair with a foreign national killed himself, sources within the Washington DC Metropolitan Police Department tell Capitol Hill Blue. Rafael Prieto’s body was discovered Saturday.  Secret Service spokesman Max Milien confirmed Prieto’s death Thursday but would not discuss details or confirm that the death was suicide. Said Milien: Rafael Prieto has a distinguished 20-year career with the Secret Service that was marked by accomplishment, dedication, friendships and the Secret Service is mourning a valued colleague. Prieto, however, was under an administrative investigation for having —
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In final days, many factors could sway a close Presidential race

A U.S. jobs report due Friday — the last one before Election Day — will provide a crucial snapshot of the vigor of the country’s economic recovery, with the potential to sway the presidential race shaping up to be one of the closest in history. President Barack Obama got good news when joblessness measured at 7.8 per cent in September, falling below 8 per cent for the first time since he took office, but it wasn’t enough to give him a lead over Republican challenger Mitt Romney, and the race remains in a virtual dead heat. The Obama administration claims
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Romney backs off harsh rhetoric, preaches post-Sandy unity

Switching gears in a Presidential campaign noted for its rancor and unrelenting attacks from both sides, Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney Wednesday toned down he rhetoric and preached unity at a stop in Tampa, Florida. In a return to campaign trail after both candidates suspended politicking during Superstorm Sandy’s devastating assault on the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern United States, Romney said: We love all of our fellow citizens. We come together in times like this, and we want to make sure that they have a speedy and quick recovery from their financial and, in many cases, personal loss. Political strategists tell
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Another day, another stupid GOP candidate’s remark about rape

Another Republican candidate for office has opened his mouth and stuck his foot squarely in it with more insensitive and outrageous comments concerning abortion. And, of course, he’s a proud member of the Tea Party. Washington state Congressional candidate John Koster says he opposes abortions, even when it involves pregnancies that result from “the rape thing.” And, as for incest, he says its too rare to even consider. Said Koster in a recording made at a fundraiser in Everett, Washington: Incest is so rare, I mean, it’s so rare. But the rape thing, you know, I know a woman who
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Former FEMA director: Obama moved too quickly in Superstorm Sandy crisis

Former Federal Emergency Management Agency director Michael Brown — who lost his job for sitting on his butt in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina — says President Barack Obama is acting too fast in responding to the Superstorm Sandy crisis. Says Brown: One thing he’s gonna be asked is, why did he jump on [the hurricane] so quickly and go back to D.C. so quickly when in…Benghazi, he went to Las Vegas? Why was this so quick?… At some point, somebody’s going to ask that question…. This is like the inverse of Benghazi. As FEMA director under former President George
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Obama holds on to Ohio lead in latest polls

With most polls showing President Barack Obama’s lead over challenger Mitt Romney holding at around 5 points in the all-important swing state of Ohio, Democratic political strategists are breathing a little easier. Both campaigns see Ohio as crucial to victory in what is an extremely tight race in the Electoral College. CBS News/New York Times/Quinnipiac University polls show Obama’s lead holding steady in Ohio while holding on to slim leads in Virginia and Florida. “The new numbers are reassuring,” a top Obama strategist told Capitol Hill Blue via email.  “We are cautiously optimistic.” But neither campaign is resting.  Both continue
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