The great debate with 3 weeks to go: Who's going to win this, Romney or Obama?

President Barack Obama, right, listens to Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney during the first presidential debate at the University of Denver, Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

President Barack Obama, right, listens to Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney during the first presidential debate at the University of Denver, Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

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WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — It's either candidate's race to win as President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney prepare for their second debate Tuesday night, with just three weeks to go until the election and voting well under way in many states.

The Republican challenger had trailed the Democratic incumbent in national polls for weeks, but now has drawn even, benefiting from a boost of enthusiasm following a strong first debate performance 10 days ago. While Romney's standing has improved in some states, Obama retains an edge in the hunt for the 270 electoral votes needed to take the White House. The president also has far more ways than Romney to reach that magic number.

But that's not enough to calm nervous Democrats, even as they revel in Vice President Joe Biden's pull-no-punches turn on the debate stage Thursday night against GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan. They are looking for an equally aggressive Obama to show up for the prime-time town-hall style debate in Hempstead, N.Y.

"The race is tightening," said Mo Elleithee, a Democratic campaign strategist and former aide to Hillary Rodham Clinton during her primary campaign against Obama in 2008. "It will be very, very close." But, he added, "The president will win re-election."

Steve Schmidt, the chief Republican strategist four years ago for GOP nominee John McCain, acknowledged Obama's edge but said it could be erased if the president comes off as defensive or dismissive in the second debate as he did in the first. "If he has another debate performance anywhere near that vicinity, it's going to go south for him," Schmidt said.

Last week's feisty confrontation between Biden and Ryan set the stage for Tuesday's presidential debate and gave Republicans an opening to intensify their criticism about Obama's foreign policy. Romney has jumped on Biden's assertion that "we weren't told" of an official request for more security at a consulate in Libya that was attacked by terrorists who killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans. The White House spent the bulk of Friday trying to explain what Biden meant.

Expect that issue to come up Tuesday.

As the debate looms large as one of the final opportunities to affect the trajectory of the race, both campaigns are working feverishly in the nine most competitive states — Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin — to get their core supporters to vote early and persuade undecided voters to back their candidate.

TV ads are a near constant presence, mailboxes are filled with campaign brochures and door-step visits by volunteers are picking up. Obama, Romney, their running mates, families and high-profile Democrats and Republicans are near constant presences in those states, working to tip the balance in a tight race where any factor could make a difference.

Romney's biggest challenge remains Ohio, where polls show Obama with a consistent, slight lead.

Without Ohio's 18 electoral votes, Romney would have to win nearly all the other contested states, most of which are either too close to project a winner or are leaning Obama's way, some solidly.

Given the stakes, Romney spent the past week bearing down on Ohio, campaigning there four of five days last week and boosting his television advertising, according to ad-spending reports provided to The Associated Press. Both Romney and Ryan scheduled events in the state Saturday.

Ohio is proving to be tricky for Romney. The state has an unemployment rate higher than the national average and a revived energy sector built on natural gas. Also, Obama's auto industry bailout is popular.

Plus, the president has kept his eye squarely on the state even as polls showed him in strong position. He has visited twice this month, and plans to return in the coming week. Obama also has kept pace with Romney's Ohio ad spending.

Elsewhere, polls show the race a dead heat in Florida, the biggest prize up for grabs with 29 electoral votes, and Virginia, where Romney has posted gains over the past week. In North Carolina, polls also show the race close, although Obama has trimmed his advertising in recent weeks. Surveys show Obama leading in Colorado, Wisconsin and Iowa, and very narrowly in Nevada.

In the aftermath of Romney's debate performance, Republicans have grown more enthusiastic, which is a critical development in the homestretch. A Pew Research Center poll last week found energy levels even for the first time, with 68 percent of registered voters who say they back Obama strongly supporting him and 67 percent of Romney voters strongly behind him.

A Washington Post-ABC News poll on voters favorability toward the candidates conducted after the first debate showed Romney viewed as "strongly favorable" by 62 percent of Republicans, his highest level in that poll.

Republicans are working to harness that enthusiasm to counter Obama's tested early-voting program, which in 2008 made the difference when Obama carried Colorado, Florida, Iowa and North Carolina.

No votes will be counted until Nov. 6.

But early reports from North Carolina and Florida encourage GOP workers.

Among the 29,400 voters who have cast absentee ballots in North Carolina, 54 percent are registered Republicans and 28 percent are Democrats, according to the United States Elections Project at George Mason University. Democrats have a big lead in Iowa in terms of early ballots cast by party registration.

Obama's voter registration push has resulted in more Democrats than Republicans on the voter rolls in most of the tightest states, including Florida and Nevada, according to data from state election boards. Even so, Republicans have narrowed the Democratic voter advantage since 2008 in many of the battlegrounds, including Iowa.

© 2012 marconews.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Comments » 40

RayPray writes:

"The genius of mankind, the greatest genius of all times and peoples."

That's what admirers called Joe Stalin.

Obviously, they failed to anticipate the advent of our GREAT OBAMA, the very dingy reflection of GOD in Chicago....

Robot Romney will soon careen in the oblivion of UNCOOL!

20_Days writes:

FOUR PATRIOTIC MEN DIED, OBAMA,BIDEN,CLINTON AND RICE LIED.

RICE HAS GONE AWOL, WHY?

The families of these patriotic men deserve more than continuous lies from this admiinistration.

As the saying goes, they lied to us this time, how many times did they lie to us in the past.

They should not have another chance to lie to us in the future.

FOUR PATRIOTIC MEN DIED, OBAMA,BIDEN,CLINTON AND RICE LIED.

26yearsonmarco writes:

The one thing we can count on every morning is the Ranting from the self appointed CZAR of MARCO ISLAND.

By the way, has anyone heard from 1P, the CZARESS OF MARCO ISLAND??

20_Days writes:

Notice Klaus's ranting never includes what happened in Behghazi. WHY?

EastCoastFloridaPerson writes:

Glad Klaus is not my neighbor.

RayNetherwood writes:

Klaus the louse can only rant, like his brilliant brother Joe Joe Biden. Both worship at the bucket of fecal matter that is ODUMDUM THE GREAT INCOMPETENT!

20_Days writes:

Klaus,

Just in case you can not read!

Tell me what happened in Benghazi that forced,
Obama, Biden, Clinton and Rice to lie.

What are they hiding or covering up?

20_Days writes:

Klaus "Did I GOT tutoring" for my error in spelling is your response to the question about Benghazi?

Then again, I need someone of your calibre to correct my English! NOT!

Sparky100 writes:

Klaus. I love when you quote other people, perhaps you could explain this one from YOUR great leader
"The fact that we are here today to debate raising America 's debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the US Government cannot pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government's reckless fiscal policies. Increasing America 's debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that, "the buck stops here.' Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better."
~ Senator Barack H. Obama, March 2006

20_Days writes:

Sparky,

Do not expect a miracle by Klaus answering a question directly without, name calling or demeaning comments to the person asking the question.

He still has not answered my question regarding Benghazi without commenting on my error in spelling and other putdowns.

One has to take a look a Biden's debate with Ryan, rude, interrupting, childish and downright unacceptable by a man who is a heartbeat away from the presidency. That will end soon!

Have you noticed that this is the tactic of liberal Democrats when they can not come clean with a truthful answer?

Sparky100 writes:

I have never expected much from him or 1Paradice. I have posted many quotes and lists for them to defend, heard nothing but their Bla Bla Bla drible. We won't hear anything from them after the election, no, they will continue to bash our town officals, at least some of that is justified.

RayNetherwood writes:

Klauschen, our #1 troll! Marching and chanting. Yawn.

20_Days writes:

COSTELLO: I want to talk about the unemployment rate in America.

ABBOTT: Good Subject. Terrible Times. It's 7.8%.

COSTELLO: That many people are out of work?

ABBOTT: No, that's 14.7%.

COSTELLO: You just said 7.8%.

ABBOTT: 7.8% Unemployed.

COSTELLO: Right 7.8% out of work.

ABBOTT: No, that's 14.7%.

COSTELLO: Okay, so it's 14.7% unemployed.

ABBOTT: No, that's 7.8%.

COSTELLO: WAIT A MINUTE. Is it 7.8% or14.7%?

ABBOTT: 7.8% are unemployed. 14.7% are out of work.

COSTELLO: IF you are out of work you are unemployed.

ABBOTT: No, Obama said you can't count the "Out of Work" as the unemployed. You have to look for work to be unemployed.

COSTELLO: BUT THEY ARE OUT OF WORK!!!

ABBOTT: No, you miss his point.

COSTELLO: What point?

ABBOTT: Someone who doesn't look for work can't be counted with those who look for work. It wouldn't be fair.

COSTELLO: To whom?

ABBOTT: The unemployed.

COSTELLO: But they are ALL out of work.

ABBOTT: No, the unemployed are actively looking for work. Those who are out of work gave up looking and if you give up, you are no longer in the ranks of the unemployed.

COSTELLO: So if you're off the unemployment roles that would count as less unemployment?

ABBOTT: Unemployment would go down. Absolutely!

COSTELLO: The unemployment just goes down because you don't look for work?

ABBOTT: Absolutely it goes down. That's how Obama gets it to 7.8%. Otherwise it would be 14.7%. He doesn't want you to read about 14.7% unemployment.

COSTELLO: That would be tough on his reelection.

ABBOTT: Absolutely.

COSTELLO: Wait, I got a question for you. That means there are two ways to bring down the unemployment number?

ABBOTT: Two ways is correct.

COSTELLO: Unemployment can go down if someone gets a job?

ABBOTT: Correct.

COSTELLO: And unemployment can also go down if you stop looking for a job?

ABBOTT: Bingo.

COSTELLO: So there are two ways to bring unemployment down, and the easier of the two is to have Obama's supporters stop looking for work.

ABBOTT: Now you're thinking like the Obama Economy Czar.

COSTELLO: I don't even know what the hell I just said!

ABBOTT: Now you're thinking like Obama.

August8 writes:

Romney Wins or we are in very deep Doo-Doo !!!

20_Days writes:

August8,

I think you mean deeper Doo-Doo!

Sparky100 writes:

23_days
Loved it

RayNetherwood writes:

23 .... now you've done it. Klaus will totally not get the A & C routine. Did you come up with that? Very clever .... spot on.

20_Days writes:

M.B.,

No he won't, wish I had.

August8 writes:

in response to GorchFock:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I think I figured this guy out, he only gets information from the Huffington Post.

20_Days writes:

You may have already seen this one but:

A teacher asked her 6th grade class how many of them were Obama fans.

Not really knowing what an Obama fan is, but wanting to be liked by the teacher, all the kids raised their hands except for Little Johnny...

The teacher asked Little Johnny why he has decided to be different... Again.

Little Johnny said, "Because I'm not an Obama fan."

The teacher asked, "Why aren't you a fan of Obama?"

Johnny said, "Because I'm a Republican."

The teacher asked him why he's a Republican.

Little Johnny answered, "Well, my Mom's a Republican and my Dad's a Republican, so I'm a Republican."

Annoyed by this answer, the teacher asked, "If your mom was a moron and your dad was an idiot, what would that make you?"

With a big smile, Little Johnny replied, "That would make me an Obama fan."

26yearsonmarco writes:

Klaus,

This is my favorite AD:

http://thehayride.com/2012/09/maybe-t...

YADDA, YADDA, YADDA

I tried to find an interpret of this story into a language you would understand, but KLAUSEEZ DOESN'T EXIST.

http://www.washingtonguardian.com/sti...

panola60 writes:

We need to buy a new car but have been holding off until after the election because if Obama is reelected gas prices will certainly double or triple.

Also, he'll use the courts or executive power to pass Cap & Trade which will drastically drive up the cost of everything.

20_Days writes:

FOUR GOOD PATRIOTIC MEN DIED, OBAMA,BIDEN,CLINTON AND RICE LIED!

WHY!

I hope we find out the truth before the election, but we won't because OBAMA will pull another executive order like he did with his GUN RUNNING to Mexico in which another PATRIOTIC MAN DIED.

26yearsonmarco writes:

Coming to a City near you: LOCK & LOAD

http://www.infowars.com/new-threats-t...

Here is LOUIE SPEAK from the guy behind the riots in the Sixties:

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2012/10/15...

20_Days writes:

26,

Perhaps, 1Paradiselost should send her contacts at the secret service over to those folks making the actual threats above, as if they could care less.

I am afraid this has been coming a long time and those who did not see it had their heads in the sand.

panola60 writes:

I couldn't be more disappointed or disgusted with Obama and his dishonest Administration with their latest cover-up.

The Intelligence folks already confessed they told the White House within 24 hrs that it was a terrorist strike associated with al Qaeda, so Hillary and the State Dept are just being used as scapegoats to cover for Obama's lies.

Former CIA Director Gen. Michael Hayden on Friday said Vice President Joe Biden proved his leadership is "not the kind ... this country needs" when Biden threw the intelligence community under the bus during Thursday's vice presidential debate with Paul Ryan.

"During the Vice Presidential debate, we were disappointed to see Vice President Biden blame the intelligence community for the inconsistent and shifting response of the Obama Administration to the terrorist attacks in Benghazi," Hayden said in a joint statement with Michael Chertoff, the former head of the Department of Homeland Security.

Hayden said during and after the attacks on the U.S. consulate on Libya, it was "clear" that "any failure was not on the part of the intelligence community, but on the part of White House decision-makers who should have listened to, and acted on, available intelligence."

The U.S. intelligence community in Libya informed the administration in Washington, D.C., within 24 hours of the Sept. 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya that the attack had been a terrorist strike whose perpetrators included militia associated with al Qaeda.

26yearsonmarco writes:

I wish Klaus would wake up and stop harping on the GM thing. The only ones who benefited are the union buddies of Obama, who caused the problem in the first place.

I saw the same thing happen in NYC many years ago with the type setters union when newspaper printing became automated.

Non-union personal at GM were let go and lost everything.

26yearsonmarco writes:

Speaking of the GM bailout:

http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012...

ajm3s writes:

Romney 54%, Obama 46%

20_Days writes:

ROMNEY WILL WIN BY A TSUNAMI!

EastCoastFloridaPerson writes:

in response to August8:

Romney Wins or we are in very deep Doo-Doo !!!

Right on target. Where do these socialist democrats that comment,think the U.S. is going to get all the money to pay the debt that Obama got America in? He has added more debt than the past 48 presidents combined. Oh,I know they think money grows on trees!

EastCoastFloridaPerson writes:

in response to 20_Days:

You may have already seen this one but:

A teacher asked her 6th grade class how many of them were Obama fans.

Not really knowing what an Obama fan is, but wanting to be liked by the teacher, all the kids raised their hands except for Little Johnny...

The teacher asked Little Johnny why he has decided to be different... Again.

Little Johnny said, "Because I'm not an Obama fan."

The teacher asked, "Why aren't you a fan of Obama?"

Johnny said, "Because I'm a Republican."

The teacher asked him why he's a Republican.

Little Johnny answered, "Well, my Mom's a Republican and my Dad's a Republican, so I'm a Republican."

Annoyed by this answer, the teacher asked, "If your mom was a moron and your dad was an idiot, what would that make you?"

With a big smile, Little Johnny replied, "That would make me an Obama fan."

Right on target,love it!!

20_Days writes:

in response to EastCoastFloridaPerson:

Right on target. Where do these socialist democrats that comment,think the U.S. is going to get all the money to pay the debt that Obama got America in? He has added more debt than the past 48 presidents combined. Oh,I know they think money grows on trees!

Without a doubt, it is trees that someone else planted, cultivated and all they had to was pick and/or benefit from the pickings.

20_Days writes:

I am sick and tired of listening to our president lie. He lied tonight about the Benghazi terrorist attack, he lied about oil drilling, he lied about the employment rates the man just has no belief in the American people to see thru his persistant lies.

Too bad Klaus above believes that voting for a man who has not accomplished 1/10 of his 2008 campaign promises is worthy of being president for another 4 years based on his words alone.

If you load you glove with bull droppings you may be able to K/O someone but the TRUTH WILL COME OUT.

No_more_cyber_bullying (Inactive) writes:

Klaus,

You are incorrect in your post.
Ms. Crowley admitted one hour later that she was incorrect in her attempt to correct Romney.

In fact Obama presented misinformation because if you, actually listen to what he said in the Rose Garden, that day it was more to what happened in 2001 and terrorist activities in general.

He never said Benghazi was an act of terrorism as you posted.

No_more_cyber_bullying (Inactive) writes:

FOUR GOOD PATRIOTIC MEN DIED AND OBAMA IS STILL LYING!

No_more_cyber_bullying (Inactive) writes:

You are right for once. Even if he said it to my face I would call him a lying punk, which he is.

RayNetherwood writes:

ODUMDUM THE GREAT INCOMPETENT

Klauschen drones on and on.

The only thing ODUMDUM THE GREAT INCOMPETENT and JOE JOE THE STOOGE can do is try to pick on Romney.

They have no record to run on, well record deficits might count, claiming Al Quaida is on the run (well not really), and lying about literally everything. Klaus .... these are your people.

ODUMDUM THE GREAT INCOMPETENT

Klaus, you ready to help ODUMDUM THE GREAT INCOMPETENT pack his bags and vacate 1600 PA Ave?

No_more_cyber_bullying (Inactive) writes:

Five Brave Patriotic Men Died, Obama, Clinton, Rice and Holder.... ALL LIED!

Gallup Pole Today has Romney up by 7%.
Florida in the win column for Romney and a statisical tie in Ohio, which when occurs usually goes for the challenger.

Time to take an inventory on White House Silverware!

RayNetherwood writes:

19, you racist ..... you think ODUMDUM and clan would swipe the silver? They hocked it years ago and snuck in cheap imitations from China. Obama needs to pack it in and leave, graciously, which sadly is beyond him. But, boy oh boy can he read a teleprompter.

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