The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

November 5, 2012

Obama, Romney pursue last votes in deadlocked race

(Continued)

"Four years ago, we had incredible turnout and I know people were excited and energized about the prospect of making history," Obama said. "We have to preserve the gains we've made and keep moving forward."

Both candidates will also benefit from some star power Monday. Rock legend Bruce Springsteen is joining Obama at all three campaign rallies, and rapper Jay-Z will join him in Columbus. Romney planned a final rally in the last hour of Election Eve in New Hampshire with Kid Rock while country rock performers The Marshall Tucker Band was joining him in Columbus.

A final national NBC/Wall Street Journal Poll showed Obama getting the support of 48 percent of likely voters, with Romney receiving 47 percent. A Washington Post-ABC News tracking poll had Obama at 49 and Romney at 48. A Pew Research Center poll released Sunday showed Obama with a three-point edge over Romney, 48 percent to 45 percent among likely voters.

Defying the odds, Romney drew one of his largest crowds Sunday in Pennsylvania, a state where Obama was holding onto a lead but where Romney aides said they detected soft support for the president. Despite a delayed arrival, Romney rallied thousands on a farm in a Philadelphia suburb on a cold night, taking the podium as loudspeakers blared the theme from "Rocky." The sign of energy in a key swing area of the state was only tempered by some early exits by supporters seeking to escape the cold.

Obama dispatched former President Bill Clinton to Pennsylvania Monday for an eleventh-hour bid to keep the state in his column.

Meanwhile, about 30 million people have already voted in 34 states and the District of Columbia, either by mail or in person, although none will be counted until Election Day on Tuesday. More than 4 million of the ballots were cast in Florida, where Democrats filed a lawsuit demanding an extension of available time. A judge granted their request in one county where an early voting site was shut down for several hours Saturday because of a bomb scare.

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