Obama, Romney in Final Push for White House

President Barack Obama shakes hands with former President Bill Clinton at an event in N.H. on Sunday. (photo: Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Obama, Romney in Final Push for White House

With less than two days before the election, Obama and Romney stake out battleground states

With less than 48 hours before Election Day and billions spent on the election, President Barack Obama and Republican candidate Mitt Romney are in their final push for the White House.

According to the final national NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll before the election, Obama and Romney were neck and neck, with Obama polling at 48% and Romney at 47%.

With poll numbers showing a tight race, both campaigns were focsing on battleground states.

On Sunday alone, Obama is visiting New Hampshire, Florida, Ohio and Colorado, while Romney will be in Iowa, Ohio, Pennsylvania.

"I know I look a little bit older, but I've got a lot of fight left in me," Obama told a crowd of 14,000 supporters in Concord, N.H.. "We have come too far to turn back now. We have come too far to let our hearts grow faint. It's time to keep pushing forward."

In addition to the appearances by Obama and Romney, their surrogates are making the rounds. The New York Timesreports:

Representative Paul D. Ryan, the Republican vice presidential nominee, is spending Sunday in Ohio, Minnesota and Colorado. Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. began his Sunday campaigning with an event in Lakewood, Ohio, near Cleveland, and he was scheduled to campaign later Sunday in both Fremont and Lancaster, Ohio, before flying to Virginia, where he is scheduled to campaign in Sterling, Va., a Washington suburb, and Richmond on Monday. [...]

Meanwhile, the top strategists for the presidential campaigns made their final appearances on the Sunday morning talk shows. Both sides described get-out-the-vote machinery that they said would provide the margin for victory for their candidate.

In the swing state of Ohio, which both campaigns are targeting on Sunday, The Nation's Ari Berman writes that a last minute voter suppression by the state's Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted could swing the state:

Once again Husted is playing the voter suppression card, this time at the eleventh hour, in a controversial new directive concerning provisional ballots. In an order to election officials on Friday night, Husted shifted the burden of correctly filling out a provisional ballot from the poll worker to the voter, specifically pertaining to the recording of a voter's form of ID, which was previously the poll worker's responsibility. Any provisional ballot with incorrect information will not be counted, Husted maintains. This seemingly innocuous change has the potential to impact the counting of thousands of votes in Ohio and could swing the election in this closely contested battleground. [...]

The number of discarded provisional ballots could rise significantly due to Husted's directive. It's also very likely that more provisional ballots will be cast in 2012 than in 2008, thanks to a wave of new voting restrictions in Ohio and nationwide. The Associated Press reported that 31 percent of the 2.1 million provisional ballots cast nationwide in 2008 were not counted, and called provisional ballots the "hanging chads of 2012."

* * *

Al Jazeera has video: Obama and Romney battle for key swing states

Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.