Tight Presidential Race, Big Debate Ahead with 3 Weeks To Go

By: AP
By: AP

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.
There are just three weeks to go until the election and voting is well under way in many states.
The Republican challenger had trailed the Democratic incumbent in national polls for weeks, but now has drawn even -- thanks to a boost of enthusiasm following a strong first debate performance 10 days ago.
Obama retains an edge in the hunt for the 270 electoral votes needed to take the White House, and has more ways than Romney to reach that magic number.
But that's not enough to calm nervous Democrats, who are looking for an aggressive Obama to show up for the prime-time town-hall style debate in Hempstead, N.Y.

UNDATED (AP) -- President Barack Obama is spending the weekend in Williamsburg, Va., preparing for his next debate with Mitt Romney.
The president has acknowledged he needs to turn in a stronger performance when the two meet again.
Obama and top aides plan hours of practice sessions ahead of Tuesday's face-off with Romney, including some mock exchanges with Sen. John Kerry, who's playing the role of the Republican candidate.
Meanwhile, Romney spent nearly four hours this morning at a hotel outside Columbus, Ohio, preparing for the upcoming town hall-style event in Hempstead, N.Y. He returned to Massachusetts in the evening after making campaign stops in Ohio.

PORTSMOUTH, Ohio (AP) -- Mitt Romney is attacking the Obama administration for delaying a decision about whether China is manipulating its currency to gain a trading edge.
A decision was due Monday, but the Treasury Department said Friday that it won't come before global finance officials meet in nearly November. That means a decision probably will be after the Nov. 6 presidential election.
Romney pointedly noted the delay during a speech Saturday at a rally in Portsmouth, Ohio.
The GOP presidential nominee says that on his first day in office, he'll brand China a "currency manipulator" and work to end what he calls Beijing's cheating practices on trade.
He says "it's got to stop."
Romney says President Barack Obama has failed to hold China accountable and as a result, the U.S. has lost jobs.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama is hailing the rebound of the U.S. auto industry, pointing to progress since his administration rescued General Motors and Chrysler.
Obama says in his weekly radio and Internet address that auto sales are the highest they've been in more than four years and the industry has created nearly a quarter of a million new jobs.
Automakers are large employers in Ohio, one of the pivotal states in the race between Obama and Republican Mitt Romney.
Markwayne Mullin, an Oklahoma Republican running for Congress, says in the GOP address that the Obama administration has pushed regulations that make it difficult for businesses.
He says the economy "doesn't need more meddling -- it needs more certainty."

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (AP) -- Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan is in Ohio trying to rally blue-collar votes for the Romney ticket.
The Wisconsin congressman tells a crowd of 1,400 people at Youngstown State University on Saturday that a strong manufacturing industry is key to a strong economy. And he says President Barack Obama hasn't done enough to strengthen the U.S. economy.
The Republicans also are trying to energize Ohio's young voters this weekend. Ryan is planning to attend tailgate parties at Bowling Green State University later in the day, and GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney has an afternoon rally at Shawnee State University in Portsmouth, Ohio.
The Democrats counter that the GOP is pushing the same policies that led to the economic crisis in the first place.

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