Obama, Romney make final push
US president Barack Obama and Republican rival Mitt Romney engaged in a frenzied cross-country blitz of the remaining battleground states today, with both sides predicting victory in a close race just two days before election day.
On the next-to-last day of the race, polls show the two candidates neck-and-neck nationally, although the president appeared to have a slight edge in the swing states that will decide who captures the 270 electoral votes needed to win on Tuesday.
After months of sometimes bitter attacks and saturation advertising in pivotal states, Obama and Romney pressed their arguments that they offer the best solution to weak economic growth and partisan gridlock in Washington.
The two also made direct appeals for votes in a race that may come down to which side does the best job of getting its supporters to the polls.
"It's up to you. You have the power," Obama told a crowd of more than 14,000 people who filled the downtown streets of Concord, New Hampshire. "You will be shaping the decisions for this country for decades to come, right now, in the next two days."
In Iowa, Romney urged more than 4,000 people in a Des Moines hall to get out and vote - and convince a few undecided or former Obama supporters to back him while they are at it.
Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, renewed his argument that he is the candidate who offers real change and can reach out to Democrats to craft bipartisan agreements.
"Accomplishing real change is not just something that I talk about. It's something that I've done," Romney told supporters in Des Moines. "And it's something I'm going to do when I am president of the United States."
Advisers for Obama and Romney blanketed the Sunday morning news shows to predict victory in a race focused on eight or nine battleground states that will provide the margin of victory in what national polls show is likely to be a very tight race.
A Reuters/Ipsos daily online tracking poll published today showed Obama with a national lead over Romney of 48 percent to 47 per cent - essentially a dead heat. The result fell within the survey's credibility interval, a tool used to account for statistical variation in Internet-based polls.
Many polls show Obama with a slight but persistent lead in Ohio, Wisconsin, Iowa and Nevada - states that would give him more than the 270 electoral votes he needs, barring any surprises elsewhere.
Republicans said they see a different story in early voting in key states, which mostly shows Democrats casting more early ballots but not at the pace that Obama set in his victory in 2008 over Republican John McCain by 7 percentage points.