Also, Obama appeared to need some help on Thursday as he cast his early ballot in Chicago. Obama, using a touch-screen voting machine, required the assistance of a poll worker a few minutes into the process.
TOMORROW’S AGENDA TODAY: Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan hold a campaign rally in North Canton, Ohio, at 7:15 p.m., where Romney will make what his campaign is billing as a major address on the economy.
President Obama will be in Washington, where he'll make a stop by the Democratic National Committee headquarters. He'll also tape interviews with “The Michael Smerconish Show," with MTV, and with American Urban Radio Networks.
Vice President Biden will be campaigning in Wisconsin with stops in Oshkosh and Kenosha.
Jill Biden will be campaigning in New Hampshire with stops in Concord, Berlin, Conway and Laconia.
Ann Romney will be campaigning in Virginia with stops in Williamsburg and Richmond.
Michelle Obama will make campaign stops in San Diego, Calif., and Las Vegas.
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) will be campaigning for Romney in Virginia.
TWEET OF THE DAY: “Lunch at Greenwich Senior Center. Roast chicken, sweet potatoes, straight questions!” — Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.), tweeting from the campaign trail
A new poll finds Mitt Romney erasing President Obama’s lead among female voters and pulling ahead nationally with under two weeks to Election Day. Romney holds 47 percent support from likely voters to Obama's 45 percent in the latest AP-GfK poll. Among women, Romney is even with Obama; both candidates attract 47 percent support. That figure is a sharp turnaround from the same poll last month, which showed Obama with a 16-point advantage.
Obama and Romney are tied in the critical battleground state of Michigan at 47 percent, according to a Foster-McCollum-White-Baydoun poll.
Obama leads Romney in the critical battleground state of Virginia, 51 percent to 46, according to a survey from Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling.
Two additional surveys from Democratic-affiliated Public Policy Polling (PPP) show Obama ahead of Romney in swing states Iowa and Wisconsin. In Iowa, Obama takes 49 percent support over Romney's 47. In Wisconsin, PPP shows Obama with a bigger lead than he enjoys in most other recent polls, 51 percent to 45 over Romney.
Nearly 90 percent of people in the United States say there is too much corporate money in politics, according to a new poll from a collection of watchdog and public interest groups.
Mitt Romney released a trio of new swing-state radio ads knocking President Obama over his "horses and bayonets" quip during the final presidential debate. The ads come as the GOP nominee looks to rally support among veterans in Virginia, Florida and New Hampshire — states with heavy interest in the defense industry.
BATTLE FOR THE HOUSE:
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has taken out a $17 million line of credit to help boost their candidates going into the final stretch of the campaign.
The DCCC also released ads against Danny Tarkanian (R) in Nevada, accusing him of being a "crazy radical"; in New York, saying Matt Doheny (R) laid off workers and shipped jobs overseas; and attacking Arizona's Vernon Parker (R) on Medicare and Social Security. This is the first time they've attacked Tarkanian, who is running surprisingly close in a Democratic-leaning district.
The American Action Network and Congressional Leadership Fund, two Republican outside groups, are adding $4.5 million in advertising to help the GOP retain the House.
Nancy Pelosi and Steve Israel face an unusual pressure for party leaders: not only do they hail from states where Democrats could pick up the most House seats, but those states are also fundraising hubs for the party. If Democrats are to take back the majority in the lower chamber, they’ll need to net 25 seats — a prospect that hinges on a handful of fiercely competitive races in Illinois, California and New York. And because those last two states are home to the minority leader and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chairman, they take on an added significance.
ARIZONA: Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick is slamming Republican candidate Jonathan Paton with a new ad that features cowboys sitting around a fire talking about Paton's lobbying career and why that makes him ill-suited to head to Congress.
CONNECTICUT: The National Republican Congressional Campaign is hitting Democrat Elizabeth Esty as one of the "most corrupt" Democrats running this cycle in a new Web ad, charging that she's taken funds from "corporations and lobbyists who are either regulated by her husband’s agency, or may soon be," referring to her husband's role as head of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environment.
IOWA: Crossroads GPS is launching its first attack on Democrat Christie Vilsack, running to unseat Rep. Steve King (R).
MASSACHUSETTS: House Majority PAC is going up on the air against Republican Richard Tisei, an indication that Democrats believe beleaguered Rep. John Tierney (D) could still pull out a win in Massachusetts's 6th District.
MINNESOTA: Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) is out with a new ad featuring constituents touting her work for the community. She's facing a tougher than expected challenge and has been hurt by charges that she abandoned the district to run for president.
NEW HAMPSHIRE: Rep. Charlie Bass (R) lags Democratic challenger Anne Kuster in a new University of New Hampshire poll, which gives her 39 percent to his 36 percent of the vote. That's within the 4.9 percent margin of error, though, indicating the race is still close.
ARIZONA: Democrat Richard Carmona is making his final pitch to voters in Arizona, while Rep. Jeff Flake (R) has launched an ad attacking the Democrat in the race for Arizona Senate.
Two outside groups are hitting Carmona with new ads. One, from super-PAC American Commitment, highlights his history as CEO of the Pima County health system. He resigned from the position after the system, which was already facing financial difficulties when he came on board, went deeper into debt. The second ad, from Now or Never PAC, is a bit sharper. Though it never mentions the situation outright, the ad brings to mind Republican attacks on Carmona's temperament while also attacking his policy.
"Richard Carmona wants to be let in — to the Senate," a voiceover says as a silhouette of a man bangs on a backlit door. The ad goes on to list Carmona's positions in favor of President Obama's healthcare reform law, and in opposition to "critical tax relief for small business." As the voiceover continues, the man goes from banging one fist to two on the door — a reference to a situation a former boss of Carmona says she found herself in one night, when he allegedly angrily banged on her door late at night after a disagreement.
INDIANA: Republican heavyweights are seeking to defend Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock, whose comments about pregnancy and rape this week have put an already at-risk GOP Senate seat in further danger. The subject dominated several interviews on news shows, with GOP stars Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) and former Sen. Rick Santorum (Pa.) among those seeking to help him.
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is out with an ad attacking Mourdock on his comments. And the American Future Fund, a GOP outside group, launched an ad tying Mourdock opponent Rep. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) to President Obama.
MISSOURI: Sen. Claire McCaskill (D) is still off the trail, but she's launched three new ads making her closing argument to voters. They feature Missouri voters explaining to the camera why McCaskill would be better than Rep. Todd Akin (R) on helping the middle class and protecting the minimum wage and Medicare.
MONTANA: A Montana judge has ordered the release of documents related to a boating accident involving Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.), the details of which could affect his Senate race.
And the Republican super-PAC Now or Never will soon air an ad spoofing Sen. Jon Tester's (D-Mont.) trademark buzz cut to tie him to President Obama.
VIRGINIA: Former Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine (D) is up with an ad featuring coal miners attacking his opponent, Sen. George Allen (R-Va.), for having a client who worked to cut their pensions. Southwest Virginia's coal country has shifted hard towards the GOP in recent years, and Allen has been hitting Kaine for his environmental views in ads in that part of the state. The two are locked in a tight race.
WISCONSIN: The American Future Fund, a GOP outside group, launched an ad accusing President Obama and Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) of voting for regulations that hurt Wisconsin's paper industry.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:
White, working-class voters in Ohio are supporting President Obama at higher levels than in other swing states, making it tougher for Mitt Romney to catch the incumbent in perhaps the most vital of all battlegrounds. Even as the GOP nominee has inched ahead in polls of swing states like North Carolina, Florida and Colorado, Romney has been unable to crack Obama’s slim but steady advantage in polls of the Buckeye State.
The Detroit News is thanking Obama for his administration's $80 billion bailout of the U.S. auto industry, but the self-proclaimed conservative newspaper is endorsing Romney for president.
The Washington Post editorial board endorsed Obama.
Former Secretary of State Colin Powell said he would again endorse Obama, breaking from the Republican Party to support the incumbent president. "You know, I voted for him in 2008 and I plan to stick with him in 2012 and will vote for him and Vice President Joe Biden next month," Powell told CBS News. "So that's an endorsement for President Obama for reelection."
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) ripped Powell for endorsing Obama again, saying the former secretary of State had “harmed” his legacy by doing so. “General Powell, you disappoint us and you have harmed your legacy even further by defending what is clearly the most feckless foreign policy in my lifetime,” McCain said on the "Kilmeade and Friends" radio program.
The Romney campaign took to Twitter to tout having raised nearly $112 million in the first half of October alone.
Obama was up all night, but at least he was in Las Vegas. "We are pulling an all-nighter. No sleep," Obama told the crowd at an event Wednesday night. "And if you're not going to sleep you might as well be in Vegas." He also gave singer Katy Perry the “best birthday ever.”
Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) accused the White House of delaying new environmental rules until after the election in a bid to improve Obama’s reelection chances.
Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) joined Al Gore this week in blaming Denver's altitude for Obama's poor performance in the first presidential debate. "I personally really do believe that the altitude may have had something to do with it," Kerry told the Sante Fe New Mexican.
Obama says he’s been behind the wheel more recently than folks might think — revealing he took a car for a spin around the White House grounds.
Hillary Clinton, in an interview published Thursday, left the door open to staying on as secretary of State longer than expected. It is “unlikely” that she will stay on at the State Department past January, Clinton told the The Wall Street Journal. Clinton does not plan to stay on as secretary of State if Obama wins a second term, but in the interview, she indicated for the first time that current events might play a role in pushing back her departure date.
Revealing numbers show that undergarment-wearers prefer to sport Obama-themed skivvies.
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