Moving away from the devastation of hurricane Sandy, both contenders in the race for the White House resumed their tours of swing States on Thursday in a bid to shift the momentum in their favour in the three days that remain.
Speaking in Boulder, Colorado, President Barack Obama wasted little time in throwing punches in the direction of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. “In the closing weeks of this campaign, Governor Romney has been using all his formidable talents as a salesman to dress up the very same policies that failed our country so badly, the very same policies we’ve been cleaning up after these last four years,” said Mr. Obama. “Let me tell you, what Governor Romney is offering sure ain’t [change]. Giving more power back to the biggest banks — that’s not change. Leaving millions without health insurance — that’s not change.”
Meanwhile, Mr. Romney, in an editorial in CNN that focused on his plans to revive the U.S.’ economic prospects, also argued in favour of strengthening the military. Hitting out at Mr. Obama’s policies in this regard, he said: “The economic weakness of the past several years has, alarmingly, fostered weakness in our foreign policy posture. Runaway domestic spending has led the President to propose reducing defence spending by hundreds of billions, cuts that his own secretary of defence has said would ‘devastate’ our national security.”
Both men’s quick return to campaign speeches and the relentless attack advertisements on television and radio channels across the nation came even as pollsters said they were tied across many States. However, in the battleground State of Ohio, which may hold the key to the next presidency according to some experts, Mr. Obama was said to still hold a lead in the electoral college, the body that ultimately decides who will be President.
Nate Silver of the FiveThirtyEight polling blog at the New York Times gave Mr. Obama a total of 303 electoral college votes on November 6, significantly more than the halfway-mark of 270 required to win the presidency. With the same model’s projections, Mr. Romney was likely to win 234 votes. However, Mr. Silver argued that the share of the popular vote across States may be much closer at 50 per cent for Mr. Obama and around 48 per cent for Mr. Romney.
Ohio clearly carries weight on both men’s minds. This week the President accused Mr. Romney of “running dishonest ads on the auto industry to scare voters in Ohio”. “This isn’t a game. These are people’s jobs,” he said in response to Mr. Romney’s advertisements, which aired in Toledo, the home of a Jeep plant, suggesting that automakers General Motors and Chrysler were expanding jobs in China at the cost of Ohio workers.
Reports quoted Mr. Obama saying that Mr. Romney was trying to alarm Ohioans “just to scare up some votes” in one of the nation’s most crucial swing states in next week’s election.