Sat, Nov 03, 2012 - Page 7 News List

US election hanging on jobs data

WORKING WITH NUMBERS:Both Obama and Romney are seeking to woo voters in swing state Ohio, but analysts say joblessness figures will be crucial to public sentiment

AFP, COLUMBUS, Ohio

However, Romney aides dismiss polls as giving an incomplete picture in many states where they feel the challenger has built recent momentum that could deliver a stronger-than-expected turnout.

The Obama campaign earlier this week said Romney was desperate in sizing up Pennsylvania — where Republican John McCain lost to Obama by 600,000 votes in 2008, and said it was a sign Romney’s path to the White House is narrowing.

Obama was set to hold rallies yesterday across Ohio, where he was planning to outline how he will create jobs over the next four years.

Romney, meanwhile, will be chasing Obama’s tail in Wisconsin, before heading to Ohio to hold an evening rally with running mate Paul Ryan and family members in West Chester, near the Republican stronghold of Cincinnati.

Most recent polls show Obama up in Ohio, by between two and five points and Romney cannot afford to give up on a state which every modern Republican president has won on the way to winning the White House.

With just four days of campaigning left — neither campaign, despite their bravado — can be completely confident about the result.

The RealClearPolitics average of national polls on Thursday showed a tie, though Obama appears better positioned than Romney in many of the less than a dozen swing states that will decide the election.

However, all the president’s leads were within the margin of error, lending some credence to the Romney camp’s belief that many of Obama’s 2008 voters will not show up and that the intensity of Republican voters will be decisive.

Romney’s team believes he is well placed after a flurry of polls showing him doing better than Obama among independent voters, but Obama got a boost with that bloc on Thursday with the endorsement of New York Mayor and popular independent politician Michael Bloomberg.

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