Eight out of ten voters think Obama has done a ‘good’ job dealing with Sandy as Romney’s poll lead is erased in wake of superstorm
Eight out of ten likely voters believe President Barack Obama had done an ‘excellent’ or ‘good’ job dealing with the Superstorm, according to the first poll taken after the disaster.
The Washington Post/ABC poll is the first tangible evidence that Obama has received a significant boost from his response to Sandy despite being forced to cancel his campaign events.
The poll was taken on Tuesday night before his visit to scenes of devastation in New Jersey where he was photographed comforting a victim of Superstorm Sandy, which is sure to improve his ratings even further.
Back on the trail: President Obama waves to supporters in Green Bay, Wisconsin, on Thursday after resuming his presidential campaign
Good to see you: Mr Obama will make a quick stop in Wisconsin before heading to Las Vegas
Matter in hand: Speaking in Wisconsin, Mr Obama said: ‘When disaster strikes, we see America at its best. There are no Democrats or Republicans during a storm. Just fellow Americans’
Winning smile? President Barack Obama shakes hands with supporters during a campaign stop at Austin Straubel International Airport in Green Bay, Wisconsin
Mr Obama resumed his election campaign today. He was pictured leaving the White House in the Marine One helicopter before heading to the so-called battleground states on Air Force One.
First stop was Green Bay, Wisconsin where Mr Obama addressed waiting voters at a rally. He said: ‘When disaster strikes, we see America at its best. There are no Democrats or Republicans during a storm. Just fellow Americans.’
The President also plans stops in Colorado and Nevada and will spend the night in pivotal Ohio, where he’ll be Friday morning when the jobs numbers come out. Presidents traditionally get a private peek at the numbers the night before.
Meanwhile Mr Romney campaigned in Virginia on Wednesday, telling a Roanoke crowd: ‘This is a critical place for us. Turnout here makes an enormous difference.’
Back on the campaign trail: Mr Obama, up, seems deep in thought as he walks across the White House lawn before heading to Wisconsin and then onto Nevada, and Colorado, but not before he delights a group of children with a few waves
Hope: Some two-thirds of those who plan to support Republican nominee Mitt Romney in Tuesday’s presidential election said Mr Obama has done well in handling Sandy
Supporters chanted: ‘Five more days’. Chuckling, Mr Romney said: We’re going to have to come up with a better slogan tomorrow – or a different one at least.’
Some two-thirds of those who plan to support Mitt Romney, the Republican nominee, in Tuesday’s presidential election said Obama has done well in handling Sandy.
In such a tight race, the poll indicates that Obama’s handling of Sandy could tip the balance and win him re-election, particularly if a ‘feelgood’ factor endures for a few days.
The same poll found that Romney’s one point national lead had been erased with the two candidates level on 49 points each. Romney has been forced to tread a very cautious line between campaigning and not being seen to be exploiting the tragedy in any way.
Take off: A new poll found that Mr Romney’s one point national lead had been erased with the two candidates level on 49 points each following the superstorm
Onwards and upwards: The Marine One helicopter flies past the Washington Monument, up, and over a waiting Marine, down. The same poll indicates that Mr Obama’s handling of Superstorm Sandy could tip the balance and win him re-election, particularly if a ‘feelgood’ factor endures for a few days
Having no specific role in the emergency response, he has also been left on the sidelines while Obama takes centre stage.
Likely voters remain split on Obama’s overall job performance – 50 per cent approve and 49 per cent disapprove. Some 70 per cent of those who give Obama negative marks generally give him positive marks on the superstorm.
There was, however, a possible silver lining for Romney. He received more positive than negative reviews for his low-key response to the storm.
Some 35 per cent of likely voters said they had ‘no opinion’ on his response – unsurprising given he had no official role in dealing with the aftermath and apart from one ‘storm relief event’ took a back seat.
Battle resumes: Mr Obama steps off Marine One at Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland, before boarding Air Force One
Next stop Wisconsin: Mr Obama jogs up the steps of Air Force One as he prepares campaign in the battleground states, starting at Wisconsin
Heartfelt: Eight out of ten likely voters believe Barack Obama had done an ‘excellent’ or ‘good’ job dealing with Superstorm Sandy, even before this photo of him embracing Donna Vanzant, right, in Brigantine, N.J, was taken
Big hitter: Former President Bill Clinton campaigns for President Barack Obama during a rally at the University of Wisconsin-Waukesha on Thursday. Clinton is also expected to campaign for Obama in Florida and Virginia
Experienced campaigner: The former President, who won the 1992 and 1996 elections, greeted supporters after speaking at the event in Waukesha, Wisconsin
Devastation: An aerial photo shows the extent of the destruction in Seaside Heights, New Jersey in the wake of superstorm Sandy on Wednesday
Support: Mr Obama took time out from the campaign trail on Wednesday to visit a stretch of the devastated New Jersey coast and take on the role of comforter-in-chief
Buried: Several homes collapsed and cars were buried in swathes of mud and sludge in Seaside Heights, NJ, following Superstorm Sandy
Mr Obama took time out from the campaign trail yesterday to visit a stretch of the devastated New Jersey coast and take on the role of comforter-in-chief.
The President was accompanied by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, a Republican bruiser and Mitt Romney backer who showered him with effusive praise for his handling of Superstorm Sandy, giving President Obama a bipartisan sheen that aides believe could help him secure victory on Tuesday.
Leaving Republican presidential candidate Mr Romney on the sidelines holding campaign events in Florida in which he had to pull his punches and barely featured on TV, Mr Obama travelled to Atlantic City in New Jersey to get an aerial view of the widespread damage caused by the storm.
Reaching out: Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney greets supporters at a campaign event at a window and door factory in Roanoke, Virginia
Real change on Day One: Mitt Romney tries to get his message across at a campaign event at a window and door factory in Roanoke, Virginia
Rooting for Romney: Supporters wave signs and American flags as the Republican presidential candidate appears at the campaign event in Roanoke, Virginia
Sex appeal: A female supporter holds up a sign as former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney makes a speech at the campaign event in Roanoke, Virginia
Anticipation: Republican supporters in Roanoke, Virginia, cheer as they wait to hear Mitt Romney speak at the campaign event
Visit: Virginia’s Republican senator, George Allen (left), and the party’s presidential candidate, Mitt Romney (second from left), take a tour of Integrity Windows in Roanoke
Debate in the downturn: Mitt Romney (centre) speaks to owners and workers at Bill’s Barbecue in Richmond, Virginia, which has gone out of business
Anxiety: Romney listens to Bill’s Barbecue owner Rhoda Elliott (in red, center) during his visit to the now-closed restaurant, before attending a campaign event in Richmond, Virginia
Food for thought: Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney stands with his hands in his pockets as he hears from Bill’s Barbecue owner Rhoda Elliott (in red, back to camera)
Ready to step up? Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney leaves a campaign rally at Metropolitan Park in Jacksonville, Florida, on Wednesday
Silver lining? There was, however, a possible silver lining for Mr Romney, seen here in Jacksonville, Florida on Wednesday, after he received more positive than negative reviews for his low-key response to the storm
Possible president? Some 35 per cent of likely voters said they had ‘no opinion’ on his Sandy response – unsurprising given he had no official role in dealing with the aftermath
Trick or treat: Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan (left) joins his family on a Halloween outing. His sons Charles and Samuel went as ‘spooky goblins’, daughter Liza dressed as Katy Perry, and wife Janna donned a hat. Ryan’s sister-in law Zoe Ryan (third from right) holds her daughter Zaydee May
Not fair: After the superstorm blew out several houses in Mantoloking, NJ, were destroyed in a huge fire after an apparent gas-main explosion on Wednesday
Lethal: A power line hangs down from a storm-damaged house in Bay Head, New Jersey, following the storm
Floorless: A waterfront home in Bay Head, New Jersey, is missing part of its foundations after Sandy barrelled in
Documenting the damage: A man takes a photograph of his friend’s storm-damaged home in Bay Head, New Jersey
The images of President Obama offering solace to New Jersey residents who had lost their home could be of incalculable political value in the final few days of the 2012 presidential campaign.
He was joined on the presidential helicopter, Marine One, for the one-hour tour by Governor Christie, who faces his own re-election bid next year and is widely believed to be laying the foundations for a presidential bid in 2016 should Romney lose this time around.
‘I want to let you know that your governor is working overtime,’ President Obama told victims at an emergency shelter after the tour. ‘The entire country has been watching what’s been happening. Everybody knows how hard Jersey has been hit.
Destroyed: Homes sit in ruin at the end of a bridge wrecked by flooding from Superstorm Sandy, pictured on Wednesday in Mantoloking, New Jersey
On its own: An isolated house floats in the bay after it was washed from its foundation during Superstorm Sandy in Manotoloking, New Jersey
Closed for repairs: Waves break in front of a destroyed amusement park wrecked by Superstorm Sandy on Wednesday in Seaside Heights, New Jersey
Going back: Flood water from Superstorm Sandy is pumped into the ocean from the beach on Wednesday in Seaside Heights, New Jersey
No access: The remains of a road are mired in debris and water from Superstorm Sandy on Wednesday in Mantoloking, New Jersey
Ray of hope: A peak of sun shines down on the Hudson River through the clouds with the Manhattan skyline in the distance after Superstorm Sandy hit New York City
Governor Christie said: ‘It’s really important to have the president of the United States here.’ President Obama returned the compliment.
The politicians’ meeting came as people in the heavily populated US East Coast corridor battered by Sandy took the first cautious steps to reclaim their upended daily routines, even as rescuers combed neighbourhoods strewn with debris and scarred by floods and fire.
Mr Romney was forced to reassure voters, a week before election day and following the massive disaster, that his administration wouldn’t leave disaster victims in the lurch.
Meanwhile… U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrives at Tirana Rinas Airport in Tirana, Albania on the last leg of her Balkans tour
Talks: Mrs Clinton chats to Albanian President Bujar Nishani, right. She is expected to urge opposing political sides to work together to push through reforms demanded by Brussels
Ripped apart: During the helicopter tour, the President was shown how Superstorm Sandy tore away part of the Mantoloking Bridge in New Jersey
Up in the air: The Marine One helicopter, carrying President Obama and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, takes an aerial tour of the Atlantic Coast in New Jersey
With President Obama heavily involved in getting federal funds to those in trouble, the Romney campaign moved quickly to reassure the public it supports a strong program of storm relief.
Only last year, as Mr Romney hewed to the right while battling for the GOP nomination, he seemed to downplay the federal government’s role in disaster response.
‘Every time you have an occasion to take something from the federal government and send it back to the states, that’s the right direction,” Romney said at a debate last June.
‘And if you can go even further, and send it back to the private sector, that’s even better.’
Asked by moderator John King of CNN whether that would include disaster relief, Mr Romney said: ‘We cannot afford to do those things without jeopardising the future for our kids. It is simply immoral, in my view, for us to continue to rack up larger and larger debts and pass them on to our kids.’
However Mr Romney had altered that position when he released a statement on the disaster yesterday.
‘I believe that FEMA plays a key role in working with states and localities to prepare for and respond to natural disasters.
‘As president, I will ensure FEMA has the funding it needs to fulfill its mission, while directing maximum resources to the first responders who work tirelessly to help those in need, because states and localities are in the best position to get aid to the individuals and communities affected by natural disasters.’
Mr Romney had ducked a spate of opportunities on Tuesday to personally clarify his position and the statement essentially endorsed the current disaster aid system.
President Obama and Governor Christie ladled on the mutual praise on Wednesday as they toured the damage sites.
By Tuesday night, the winds and flooding inflicted by the fast-weakening Sandy had subsided, leaving at least 76 people dead along the Atlantic Coast and splintering beachfront homes and boardwalks from the mid-Atlantic states to southern New England.
The storm later moved across Pennsylvania on a predicted path toward western New York State and Canada.
At the height of the disaster, more than 8.2 million customers lost electricity – some as far away as Michigan. Nearly a quarter of those without power were in New York, where lower Manhattan’s usually bright lights remained dark for a second night.
Devastated: An unidentified woman struggles to come to grips with the devastation surrounding her in Lavallette, New Jersey
Marooned marina: Boats were washed ashore at a marina near Jersey City, New Jersey in the aftermath of the storm
Walkabout: President Barack Obama talks to a resident as he tours a neighborhood effected by Superstorm Sandy in Brigantine, New Jersey Walking with with him are two Democrat senators, Frank Lautenberg and Bob Menendez
Men dispose of shopping carts full of food damaged by Storm Sandy at the Fairway supermarket in the Red Hook, Brooklyn
Shopping carts full of food damaged by Storm Sandy await disposal at the Fairway supermarket in the Red Hook section of Brooklyn in New York
Destroyed homes wrecked by Superstorm Sandy sits in the middle of a street in Seaside Heights, New Jersey
Scenes of destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy in Breezy Point, New York where a fire destroyed 110 homes
People examine the wreckage of boats washed ashore in Great Kills, Staten Island
Storm shutdown: Substantial damage was done Hoboken Terminal in New Jersey as mass transit systems were shutdown as a result of the storm
Jackie Hoey inspects the first floor of her home which experienced heavy flooding due to Hurricane Sandy in Long Beach, New York
A bent railing caused by Hurricane Sandy in Breezy Point, New York
Gary Silberman surveys his home that was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy in Lindenhurst, New York
Engulfed: A collapsed house along the central Jersey Shore coast
Lifted: A row of beach homes rest off their foundations after Superstorm Sandy came ashore near Asbury Park, New Jersey
Topsy-turvy: Part of a home rests upside-down in Seaside Heights, New Jersey, one of the areas worst affected by Superstorm Sandy
Broken in two: Another view of the top of a house which was torn apart when Superstorm Sandy struck Seaside Heights, New Jersey. The rest of the property was found some way away from its original spot, sitting in the middle of a street
Chaotic: Streets in Seaside Heights, New Jersey, are covered with fallen power lines and debris following heavy damage by Superstorm Sandy
Major problem: Emergency workers attend homes heavily damaged by Superstorm Sandy in Seaside Heights, New Jersey. A van is stuck under debris in the foreground
Electioneering: The name ‘Romney’ is spelled out in sand during an aerial tour of the Atlantic Coast being taken by President Obama and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie
Crossing the political divide: Barack Obama comforts the New Jersey’s Republican Governor Chris Christie, a Mitt Romney supporter who has sung the President’s praises since Superstorm Sandy struck
During his introduction, Governor Christie, known for his brash demeanor, said that he forgave residents of Brigantine for not following his order to ‘get the hell out’ before the storm hit Monday night. (He jokingly said ‘you’re forgiven this time.’)
President Obama made a reference to the colorful language, turning back to give the Governor a smile during the remark.
The President pledged to streamline the federal funding process, explaining that he has instituted a so-called 15 minute rule for his team, meaning that if a mayor, state politician, or governor calls them, they have to respond with firm answers in a matter of minutes.
‘We are not going to tolerate red tape,’ he said. ‘When you see neighbors helping neighbors you’re reminded of what America’s all about.
‘We’re going to have a ton of work to do. I don’t want anyone thinking that this will be cleaned up overnight. We want to make sure people have realistic expectations. We will not quit… We don’t leave anybody behind.’
New Jersey was one of the hardest-hit in Monday night’s storm, and power outages in the state’s two biggest cities – Newark and Jersey City – have prevented progress, as traffic lights remain out of action.
Days before the election, the President has kept up a steady public presence overseeing the storm response, while cancelling a series of public campaign rallies.
On Sunday, he met FEMA officials, then told reporters the government will ‘respond big and respond fast’ after the massive storm made landfall.
The President also paid a visit to the headquarters of the Red Cross on Tuesday, saying he wanted ‘no bureaucracy, no red tape’ to interfere with recovery, and suggested the military might be able to help in view of the enormity of the damage.
‘This is a tough time for millions of people … But America is tougher,’ he said.
The speed of their response has prompted criticism from Michael ‘heckuva job’ Brown, the former FEMA director who was roundly criticised for the agency’s response to the devastation from Hurricane Katrina.
‘One thing (President Obama’s) gonna be asked is, why did he jump on (Sandy) so quickly and go back to D.C. so quickly when (after) Benghazi, he went to Las Vegas? Why was this so quick?’ Brown told a Denver news station.
Destroyed: An aerial view of the Breezy Point neighbourhood in New York, where more than 50 homes were burned to the ground as a result of Superstorm Sandy
Cloud of smoke: Debris smoulders as residents of Breezy Point in the Queens borough of New York assess the damage caused by a fire during Superstorm Sandy
Nothing left: Tom Duffy (left) and his family look through the debris of his home which was destroyed in the fire
Fire damage: Neighbors Lucille Dwyer (right) and Linda Strong (left) embrace after looking through the wreckage of their homes in Breezy Point, Queens, New York
Distraught: A woman stares at the ground as she walks past damaged homes after the fire at Breezy Point in the Queens borough of New York
Surveying the destruction: New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (centre) views storm damage in the Breezy Point area of Queens after fire destroyed homes
Exposed: This home in the Sea Gatee area of Brooklyn, New York, had one of its walls and part of its roof ripped off by the force of Superstorm Sandy
Meaningful: A damaged home in the Sea Gate part of Brooklyn, New York, bears the sign: ‘The most important things in life… aren’t things
After tamping down his partisan tone on Tuesday at an Ohio event that emphasised victims’ relief, Mr Romney planned three full-blown campaign rallies yesterday in Florida, the largest competitive state.
Sandy largely spared Florida, so Mr Romney calculated he could campaign there without appearing callous. But President Obama’s revised schedule is also a political gamble.
Rather than use the campaign’s final Wednesday to woo voters in the tossup states that will decide the election, President Obama decided to go before cameras with Governor Christie.
When Governor Christie stopped in Belmar, New Jersey, during a tour of the devastation, one woman wept openly and 42-year-old Walter Patrickis told him: ‘Governor, I lost everything.’
Governor Christie, who called the shore damage ‘unthinkable,’ said a full recovery would take months and it would likely be a week or more before power is restored to everyone who lost it.
Water ride: John Okeefe walks on the beach as the rollercoaster that once sat on the Funtown Pier in Seaside Heights, New Jersey, rests in the ocean
No play: This US Air Force photo shows an aerial view of the rollercoaster from the Seaside Heights amusement park on the New Jersey shore submerged in surf
Mangled: The rollercoaster was severely damaged as Superstorm Sandy destroyed the boardwalk and pier in Seaside Park, New Jersey
Pet rescue: Olivia Loesner, 16, hugs her uncle, Deputy Fire Chief John Ruff, after she was brought from her flooded home in a boat in Little Ferry, New Jersey, Her mother, Janice Loesner, carries their dogs to safety in a basket
Huge task: Workers try to clear boats and debris from the New Jersey Transit Morgan draw bridge in South Amboy, New Jersey, after the storm surge pushed them on to the train tracks
President Obama’s last campaign event was last Saturday in New Hampshire. He flew to Orlando on Sunday to attend a campaign rally on Monday with former President Bill Clinton but scrapped his campaign plans to return to Washington D.C. to monitor preparations for Superstorm Sandy.
Mr Romney wavered in his strategy. First the campaign said he would skip a rally in Ohio on Tuesday out of sympathy for the storm victims. Then Mr Romney decided to do the event but recast it as a storm-relief effort, shorn of the usual campaign speech.
Clean-up: Sanitation workers clear sand from streets in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy in the Brighton Beach section of Brooklyn, New York
Crushed: Freddie Nocella, Jr, looks at his grandfather’s damaged Trans Am as he helps to salvage belongings from his grandparents’ heavily damaged home in Babylon Village, New York
Unbelievable: A woman looks at damage in the Rockaway neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York, where the historic boardwalk was washed away during Superstorm Sandy
All that’s left: The foundations to the historic Rockaway boardwalk are all that remain after it was washed away during Superstorm Sandy in Brooklyn, New York
Snap: A man takes a picture of a woman in front of a crumbled public bathroom following Superstorm Sandy, on Tuesday in Belmar, New Jersey
It’s part of the American spirit, the American way, to give to people in need,’ Mr Romney said in Kettering, Ohio, before supporters lined up to hand him bags of canned food for storm victims.
Adding to Mr Romney’s dilemma are the candidate’s previous statements on the federal government’s role in emergency management.
He said he believes state and local governments should have primary responsibility for emergency clean-up. Mr Romney refused yesterday to answer repeated questions from reporters about what he would do with the Federal Emergency Management Agency if he wins the election.
Asked about federal aid to help recover and rebuild from Sandy, a spokesman said: ‘A Romney-Ryan administration will always ensure that disaster funding is there for those in need. Period.’
For President Obama, missing a few days of active campaigning for vital presidential duties may be a good trade, politically speaking.
Lingering anger about President George W. Bush’s performance when Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans in 2005 could provide a backdrop to benefit President Obama if he does a solid job.
Kathleen Hall Jamieson, of the University of Pennsylvania, said a natural disaster gives a president ‘unlimited access to the media to say things the public wants and needs to hear in a fashion that reinforces that he is president.’
For President Obama, the federal response to the natural disaster could make or break his bid for a second term. His reputation could suffer if the federal government’s response is feeble or botched.
While President Obama and Mr Romney moved cautiously yesterday, their campaigns exchanged sharp words in Ohio and expanded their operations into three Democratic-leaning states.
Mr Romney’s campaign is running ads in Minnesota and Pennsylvania, and a pro-Romney group is doing the same in Michigan.
Scenes from New Jersey: A man carries his wife through the floodwaters in Hoboken (up), and cars and vans are buried in sand on Long Beach Island
Unusual pile-up: An aerial photograph shows boats lying next to a house near Monmouth Beach, New Jersey, where they were washed ashore during Superstorm Sandy
Resting place: A wider view shows dozens of damaged boats piled up by the house next to a marina close to Monmouth Beach, New Jersey
Underwater: This picture provided shows flooded homes in Tuckerton, New Jersey, after Superstorm Sandy made landfall on the southern New Jersey coastline
Flooding: A portion of Harvey Cedars on Long Beach Island, New Jersey was underwater after Superstorm Sandy blew across the state with devastating results
The three states were considered fairly safe for President Obama, but his campaign is taking the threat seriously. It sent former President Bill Clinton to Minnesota yesterday and it is buying airtime in all three states.
The Republican efforts could indicate that Mr Romney is desperately searching for a last-minute path to victory without all-important Ohio, where polls show President Obama has a slight edge.
Or it could mean just the opposite, that Mr Romney’s so confident in the most competitive battlegrounds that he’s pressing for insurance against President Obama in what’s expected to be a close race. Or perhaps the Republican simply has money to burn. Use it now or never.
The U.S. president is chosen not by the nationwide popular vote but in state-by-state contests.
That has made a handful of states whose voters are neither reliably Republican nor Democratic the focus of the November 6 election, expected to be one of the closest in U.S. history.
Shock: Brian Hajeski, 41, of Brick, New Jersey, reacts as he looks at debris of a home that washed up on to the Mantoloking Bridge the morning after Superstorm Sandy
Contenders: US President Barack Obama (up) talks about damage done by Hurricane Sandy and rescue efforts while at the National Red Cross HQ in Washington D.C. on Tuesday; while Republican candidate Mitt Romney loads relief supplies for people affected by Hurricane Sandy into a truck at a relief campaign event in Kettering, Ohio
Speech: President Obama talks during his visit to the Disaster Operation Center of the Red Cross National HQ to discuss Superstorm Sandy on Tuesday
Talks: President Barack Obama visits the FEMA headquarters following Hurricane Sandy in Washington D.C. on Wednesday. Pictured with President Obama are (from second left to right) Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan
Uprooted: This picture provided by the US Coast Guard shows property damage along the New Jersey coast caused by Hurricane Sandy on Tuesday
Just still there: The damage caused by Hurricane Sandy to the New Jersey coast, in a photo taken during a search and rescue mission
Complete devastation: A lone piece of colour in a children’s playground is pictured surrounded by sand and debris near the ocean in Atlantic City, New Jersey, on Tuesday
Rebuild project: A man in a hooded jacket and jeans walks past debris left by the floodwater from Superstorm Sandy on Tuesday in Hoboken, New Jersey
On the rails: This photograph, provided by the state of New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority, shows a boat resting on the tracks at Metro-North’s Ossining Station in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy
Smashed: Captain Charles Bodien, Jr, posts a condemned sign on a summer camp at Webster Lake in Franklin, New Hampshire, after a tree crashed down on it
Ohio and Florida are prominent among those, and no Republican has been elected president without winning Ohio.
In a sign that Ohio looms large for the Romney campaign: a guest-filled rally in suburban Cincinnati is planned for Friday to kick off the campaign’s final four days.
Set to join Mr Romney and running mate Paul Ryan are golf legend Jack Nicklaus, ex-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Texas Governor Rick Perry and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
Vice President Joe Biden planned to campaign yesterday in Florida. Mr Ryan was scheduled to campaign in his home state, Wisconsin.
Meanwhile, Democratic groups bitterly complained about a TV ad the Romney camp is running in the Toledo and Youngstown areas of Ohio. The ad suggests that Jeep will move its Toledo car-making facility to China, a claim Jeep executives deny.
Democrats called the ad a brazen lie and a sign of desperation. Even some Republicans worried that Mr Romney has gone too far in a state where voters follow the auto industry closely.
‘It’s the kind of thing that happens late in the campaign, when everybody’s tired and you’re not quite yourself,’ said GOP pollster and strategist Mike McKenna, who does not work for the Romney campaign.
‘It didn’t help. But I don’t think it’s a big thing. At this point, everybody has made up their mind.’