Both candidates began their final campaign push on Wednesday, preparing to launch a final blitz of swing state visits and dispatching senior aides to make the case their nominee will win.
TOMORROW’S AGENDA TODAY: President Obama returns to the campaign trail with events in Green Bay, Wis., Boulder, Colo., and Las Vegas.
Mitt Romney will be campaigning in Virginia with a 10 a.m. event in Roanoke and a 2:15 p.m. event in Doswell. Finally, he’ll hold a rally in Virginia Beach at 7:05 p.m., which replaces an earlier rally canceled because of Hurricane Sandy.
Paul Ryan will hold a campaign rally in Greeley, Colo., at 11:45 a.m. and one in Reno, Nev., at 3 p.m.
Michelle Obama will be campaigning in Florida with a stop in Jacksonville at 1:05 p.m.; one in Dayton Beach at 3:25 p.m.; and one in Miami at 5:55 p.m.
Ann Romney will be campaigning in Ohio with an event in Heath at 1:30 p.m.; followed by one in Wadsworth at 4:25 p.m.; and one in Strongsville at 6 p.m.
Former President Clinton will be campaigning for Obama in Waukesha, Wis., and then head to Ohio for grassroots events in Toledo, Akron and Chillicothe.
Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) will be campaigning for Romney in Manchester, N.H. Rubio will also campaign for Romney in Holmes, Pa. Tagg Romney, Chris Cox, and Rob Keck will attend a sportsmen event at Bass Pro Shops in Harrisburg, Pa.
TWEET OF THE DAY: “I have no great #Halloween memories — I remember once I went as an Oreo cookie — we use to put pins in doorbells & run away” — Larry King
QUOTE OF THE DAY: "I will shave off my mustache of 40 years if we lose any of those three states." — Obama campaign strategist David Axelrod, on if President Obama loses Minnesota, Michigan or Pennsylvania
A majority believes President Obama will defeat Mitt Romney and secure a second term in the White House, a Gallup poll found. According to the survey, 54 percent said they thought Obama would win and 34 percent believe Romney will win.
An ABC News/Washington Post poll, which conducted interviews about Hurricane Sandy on Tuesday before being released on Wednesday, found 78 percent of likely voters viewed Obama's response to the storm positively, while just 8 percent viewed his response negatively. About 15 percent said they have no opinion.
Obama has a slight edge on Romney in three key battleground states, according to a new Quinnipiac University/New York Times/CBS News poll, which finds Obama up by 5 points in Ohio, up 1 in Florida and up 2 in Virginia.
Obama has a 1-percentage-point lead over Romney nationally, 48 percent to 47, according to a hurricane-shortened New York Times/CBS News poll.
The latest Franklin & Marshall College poll in Pennsylvania shows Obama with 49 percent support among likely voters to Romney at 45.
Obama holds 5-point leads in the Midwestern battlegrounds of Wisconsin and Iowa, according to the latest surveys from Democratic-affiliated Public Policy Polling. Obama leads Romney 50 percent to 45 in Iowa and 51 percent to 46 in Wisconsin.
And a PPP poll of North Carolina found Obama and Romney tied at 49 percent.
Obama has an 8-point lead over Romney in Wisconsin, 51 to 43 percent, according to a new poll from Marquette University.
A Detroit News survey found Obama takes 47.7 percent to Romney’s 45 in Michigan.
The pro-Obama super-PAC Priorities USA is out with a Florida ad tying Mitt Romney to Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R), one of the state's least popular politicians.
Restore Our Future, a super-PAC backing Romney, is launching ads in Minnesota and New Mexico for the final week of the presidential campaign. The buys are significant: $1.1 million in Minnesota and $700,000 in inexpensive New Mexico.
Americans for Prosperity, the conservative super-PAC backed by the billionaire Koch brothers, is joining other top pro-Romney groups in advertising in Pennsylvania and Michigan, two states that had until recently been considered to be safely in President Obama's column. According to the group, they will spend $3 million in the last week of the election on a pair of ads set to run in the two states.
BATTLE FOR THE HOUSE:
Outside spending groups are making their presence felt in several tight House races, in some cases spending more than the candidates on the ballot.
The Democratic outside group House Majority PAC released one final ad, attacking Republican Mia Love for supporting tax increases as mayor of Saratoga Springs. She's running against Rep. Jim Matheson (D-Utah). The group also increased ad buys in a number of races, including major increases against Reps. Steve King (R-Iowa) and to defend seats left open by Reps. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Jerry Costell (D-Ill.).
ILLINOIS: Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.) voted absentee and does not have any plans for an election-night event, a Jackson spokesman said.
Majority PAC, a Democratic super-PAC, is launching a final $7 million offensive aimed at retaining control of the Senate. The group is airing TV ads in Connecticut, Indiana, Montana, North Dakota, Virginia and Wisconsin, and has radio ads in Florida and Montana. All of the ads attack the Republican candidates in the race.
INDIANA: Rep. Joe Donnelly (D) has a 7-point edge over Indiana state Treasurer Richard Mourdock (R) in a new internal poll, a big jump from a 2-point lead he had in his internal polling before Mourdock made controversial remarks about rape and abortion earlier this month. Donnelly leads Mourdock by 43 to 36 percent. Internal polls should always be taken with a grain of salt, and Mourdock released his own internal poll showing a tied race. The reality is likely somewhere in the middle, with Donnelly up by a smaller margin.
MASSACHUSETTS: Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) launched a powerful ad in the final week of the race that offers voters his closing pitch in a race that remains close to the finish. The ad, "People Over Party," is a one-minute cinematic spot that lends visual support to the argument Brown's been making throughout the campaign, and the one he has to win to win the election: that he's an independent voice for Massachusetts. Democrat Elizabeth Warren also released a powerful personal ad to maker her closing argument. "My fight is for you. Always has been. And I won’t back down, no matter how long the odds or how powerful the opposition. I’m Elizabeth Warren and I approve this message. If you send me to the Senate, I’ll work my heart out for you," she says.
MISSOURI: A Republican super-PAC that had backed one of Rep. Todd Akin's (R-Mo.) primary opponents will jump in to help the embattled Senate candidate in the final week of his campaign. Now Or Never PAC will spend $800,000 on television advertising for the cash-strapped Akin between now and Election Day, spokesman Tyler Harber told The Hill. The Faith Family Freedom Fund, which is affiliated with Family Research Council Action, has a new ad out for Akin that charges Sen. Claire McCaskill's (D) policies will saddle future generations with debt, and is part of a $550,000 get-out-the-vote effort. And Akin launched an ad of his own, featuring two veterans touting his support for veterans' issues. "I am living proof that he does fight for veterans and I'm voting for Todd Akin and every other veteran should vote for Todd Akin too," one veteran, Tim Wymore, says.
MONTANA: Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) released a closing ad touting endorsements from the state's major newspapers, while his opponent, Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.), released a new ad featuring an endorsement from Mitt Romney, who says Rehberg will help “get our fiscal house in order.” This is only the second general election ad Romney has cut for a Senate candidate; both were for Republicans in states he's expected to win comfortably (the other was for Richard Mourdock in Indiana).
NORTH DAKOTA: Rep. Rick Berg (R-N.D.) holds a 2-percentage-point lead over Democrat Heidi Heitkamp. According to the Mason-Dixon poll, conducted for KVLY-TV/KFYR-TV, Berg has 47 percent support among likely voters to Heitkamp's 45, and the 2-percentage-point lead is well within the poll's 4-percentage-point margin of error.
OHIO: Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) launched a new ad featuring the endorsement of former Ohio Sen. and astronaut John Glenn, as three new polls show him gaining momentum in the race.
VIRGINIA: Former Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine (D) holds a narrow lead over former Sen. George Allen (R-Va.) in a new Quinnipiac University poll for The New York Times and CBS, 50 to 46 percent. The Democratic outside group Majority PAC is hitting Allen for opposing embryonic stem-cell research with a brutal new ad. There is only one problem: Kaine also opposes using government funds for embryonic stem-cell research, and when he was governor vetoed funding for exactly that.
WISCONSIN: Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) leads former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson (R) by 4 points in the state's hard-fought Senate race, according to a Marquette University poll. She's up 47 percent to 43 percent. Other recent polls have shown the race within the margin of error.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:
Virginia-based GOP advertising firm ccAdvertising was behind a flood of anti-Obama text messages sent Tuesday night, according to Web domain records. By Wednesday morning, GoDaddy, a domain registrar, had suspended the firm's websites for spam and abuse.
The final employment report before the election will not be delayed by Hurricane Sandy. The Labor Department announced that Friday's report will be released at 8:30 a.m., as scheduled, after concerns earlier in the week that the report might be delayed as Sandy wreaked havoc on the East Coast.
Iowa on Wednesday became the second state to warn international election observers to stay away from its polling sites or face arrest, following Texas. The 56-member Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) is planning on sending 150 election observers to monitor polls across the country, as it has since 2002. Their presence has become a flashpoint this year, however, as Republicans accuse Democrats of voter fraud and Democrats counter that GOP-inspired voter ID laws aim to disenfranchise minority voters.
Election Day isn't for another six days, but Vice President Biden is already thinking about 2016. Appearing at an eatery in Florida, Biden was chatting by phone with a Republican voter when the vice president half-jokingly made his intentions known about a possible run for the White House. “Look, I’m not trying to talk you into voting for me, I just wanted to say hi to you. And after it's all over, when your insurance rates go down, then you’ll vote for me in 2016. I’ll talk to you later,” Biden said, according a pool reporter traveling with the vice president.
Biden labeled Romney campaign ads in Ohio that attack President Obama on the auto bailout "desperate" and "flagrantly dishonest."
Rep. Paul Ryan (Wis.) hit hard at Obama during a rally in Ryan's home state Wednesday afternoon. “As Racine County goes, so goes Wisconsin,” Ryan said. “And as Wisconsin goes, so goes America. So Racine, you ready to help us win this thing?” he asked to cheers.
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