Obama, Romney rush to the finish with battleground state stops

  • President Barack Obama walks up and onto the stage as the crowd cheers at a campaign event at Nationwide Arena, Monday, Nov. 5, 2012, in Columbus, Ohio.  (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)President Barack Obama walks up and onto the stage as the crowd cheers at a campaign event at Nationwide Arena, Monday, Nov. 5, 2012, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
  • Amara Hayles, 6, of Columbus, sits atop her dad, Marlon Hayles, shoulders and waves a American flag as President Barack Obama speaks at a campaign event at Nationwide Arena, Monday, Nov. 5, 2012, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)Amara Hayles, 6, of Columbus, sits atop her dad, Marlon Hayles, shoulders and waves a American flag as President Barack Obama speaks at a campaign event at Nationwide Arena, Monday, Nov. 5, 2012, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
  • President Barack Obama is hugged on stage by musician Jay-Z, center, as musician Bruce Springsteen, stands right, at a campaign event at Nationwide Arena, Monday, Nov. 5, 2012, in Columbus, Ohio.  (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)President Barack Obama is hugged on stage by musician Jay-Z, center, as musician Bruce Springsteen, stands right, at a campaign event at Nationwide Arena, Monday, Nov. 5, 2012, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
  • President Obama speaks at a campaign event at Nationwide Arena on Monday, Nov. 5, 2012, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)President Obama speaks at a campaign event at Nationwide Arena on Monday, Nov. 5, 2012, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
  • President Barack Obama makes a call as he visits a campaign office, Monday, Nov. 5, 2012, in the German Village section of Columbus, Ohio, to greet and make phone calls to volunteers.  (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)President Barack Obama makes a call as he visits a campaign office, Monday, Nov. 5, 2012, in the German Village section of Columbus, Ohio, to greet and make phone calls to volunteers. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
  • A little girl peeks from behind a man with an image of a smiling President Barack Obama as President Obama speaks at a campaign event at Nationwide Arena, Monday, Nov. 5, 2012, in Columbus, Ohio.  (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)A little girl peeks from behind a man with an image of a smiling President Barack Obama as President Obama speaks at a campaign event at Nationwide Arena, Monday, Nov. 5, 2012, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
  • President Barack Obama speaks at a campaign event at Nationwide Arena Monday, Nov. 5, 2012, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)President Barack Obama speaks at a campaign event at Nationwide Arena Monday, Nov. 5, 2012, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
  • President Barack Obama speaks at a campaign event at Nationwide Arena Monday, Nov. 5, 2012, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)President Barack Obama speaks at a campaign event at Nationwide Arena Monday, Nov. 5, 2012, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
  • President Barack Obama is flanked on stage by musicians Jay-Z, left, and Bruce Springsteen at a campaign event at Nationwide Arena, Monday, Nov. 5, 2012, in Columbus, Ohio.  (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)President Barack Obama is flanked on stage by musicians Jay-Z, left, and Bruce Springsteen at a campaign event at Nationwide Arena, Monday, Nov. 5, 2012, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
  • Vice President Joe Biden accompanied by his wife Jill Biden enters a campaign rally at the American Civil War Center at the Historic Tredegar Ironworks Monday, Nov. 5, 2012, in Richmond, Va. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)Vice President Joe Biden accompanied by his wife Jill Biden enters a campaign rally at the American Civil War Center at the Historic Tredegar Ironworks Monday, Nov. 5, 2012, in Richmond, Va. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
  • Supporters listen to John Mellencamp perform before Vice President Joe Biden speaks during a campaign rally at the American Civil War Center at the Historic Tredegar Ironworks Monday, Nov. 5, 2012, in Richmond, Va. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)Supporters listen to John Mellencamp perform before Vice President Joe Biden speaks during a campaign rally at the American Civil War Center at the Historic Tredegar Ironworks Monday, Nov. 5, 2012, in Richmond, Va. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
  • John Mellencamp performs before Vice President Joe Biden speaks during a campaign rally at the American Civil War Center at the Historic Tredegar Ironworks Monday, Nov. 5, 2012, in Richmond, Va. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)John Mellencamp performs before Vice President Joe Biden speaks during a campaign rally at the American Civil War Center at the Historic Tredegar Ironworks Monday, Nov. 5, 2012, in Richmond, Va. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
  • Vice president Joe Biden gestures during campaign rally at The American Civil War Center at Historic Tredegar Ironworks, as Democratic Senate candidate Timothy Kaine, left, listens in Richmond, Va., Monday, Nov. 5, 2012.  (AP Photo/Steve Helber)Vice president Joe Biden gestures during campaign rally at The American Civil War Center at Historic Tredegar Ironworks, as Democratic Senate candidate Timothy Kaine, left, listens in Richmond, Va., Monday, Nov. 5, 2012. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
  • Supporters listen to John Mellencamp perform before Vice President Joe Biden speaks during a campaign rally at the American Civil War Center at the Historic Tredegar Ironworks Monday, Nov. 5, 2012, in Richmond, Va. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)Supporters listen to John Mellencamp perform before Vice President Joe Biden speaks during a campaign rally at the American Civil War Center at the Historic Tredegar Ironworks Monday, Nov. 5, 2012, in Richmond, Va. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
  • John Mellencamp, center, performs before Vice President Joe Biden speaks during a campaign rally at the American Civil War Center at the Historic Tredegar Ironworks Monday, Nov. 5, 2012, in Richmond, Va. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)John Mellencamp, center, performs before Vice President Joe Biden speaks during a campaign rally at the American Civil War Center at the Historic Tredegar Ironworks Monday, Nov. 5, 2012, in Richmond, Va. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
  • Supporters cheer as first lady Michelle Obama speaks at a campaign rally in a hangar at the Charlotte Douglas International Airport in Charlotte, N.C., Monday, Nov. 5, 2012. (AP Photo/Bob Leverone)Supporters cheer as first lady Michelle Obama speaks at a campaign rally in a hangar at the Charlotte Douglas International Airport in Charlotte, N.C., Monday, Nov. 5, 2012. (AP Photo/Bob Leverone)
  • First lady Michelle Obama addresses the crowd during a campaign stop for her husband, President Barack Obama, on election eve in Orlando, Fla., Monday, Nov. 5, 2012.(AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)First lady Michelle Obama addresses the crowd during a campaign stop for her husband, President Barack Obama, on election eve in Orlando, Fla., Monday, Nov. 5, 2012.(AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
  • First lady Michelle Obama, left, hugs a military serviceman after speaking during a campaign stop for her husband President Barack Obama on election eve in Orlando, Monday, Nov. 5, 2012.(AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)First lady Michelle Obama, left, hugs a military serviceman after speaking during a campaign stop for her husband President Barack Obama on election eve in Orlando, Monday, Nov. 5, 2012.(AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
  • Entertainer Ricky Martin walks onstage to speak before first lady Michelle Obama during a campaign stop for President Barack Obama on election eve in Orlando, Monday, Nov. 5, 2012.(AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)Entertainer Ricky Martin walks onstage to speak before first lady Michelle Obama during a campaign stop for President Barack Obama on election eve in Orlando, Monday, Nov. 5, 2012.(AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
  • President Obama greets supporters during a campaign event near the Capitol in Madison, Wis., on Monday, Nov. 5, 2012. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)President Obama greets supporters during a campaign event near the Capitol in Madison, Wis., on Monday, Nov. 5, 2012. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
  • President Obama speaks to supporters during a campaign event near the Capitol in Madison, Wis., on Monday, Nov. 5, 2012. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)President Obama speaks to supporters during a campaign event near the Capitol in Madison, Wis., on Monday, Nov. 5, 2012. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
  • With the Wisconsin Capitol dome behind him, President Obama speaks at a campaign event on Monday, Nov. 5, 2012, in downtown Madison, Wis. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)With the Wisconsin Capitol dome behind him, President Obama speaks at a campaign event on Monday, Nov. 5, 2012, in downtown Madison, Wis. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
  • President Obama gestures as he speaks at a campaign event on Monday, Nov. 5, 2012, in Madison, Wis. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)President Obama gestures as he speaks at a campaign event on Monday, Nov. 5, 2012, in Madison, Wis. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
  • Singer Bruce Springsteen performs before the start of a campaign event for President Obama near the Capitol in Madison, Wis., on Monday, Nov. 5, 2012. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)Singer Bruce Springsteen performs before the start of a campaign event for President Obama near the Capitol in Madison, Wis., on Monday, Nov. 5, 2012. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
  • President Obama stands with singer Bruce Springsteen as he arrives to speak at a campaign event on Monday, Nov. 5, 2012, in Madison, Wis. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)President Obama stands with singer Bruce Springsteen as he arrives to speak at a campaign event on Monday, Nov. 5, 2012, in Madison, Wis. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
  • President Obama shakes hands with singer Bruce Springsteen at a campaign event on Monday, Nov. 5, 2012, in downtown Madison, Wis. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)President Obama shakes hands with singer Bruce Springsteen at a campaign event on Monday, Nov. 5, 2012, in downtown Madison, Wis. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
  • President Obama is greeted onstage by singer Bruce Springsteen as he arrives to speak at a campaign event on Monday, Nov. 5, 2012, in downtown Madison, Wis. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)President Obama is greeted onstage by singer Bruce Springsteen as he arrives to speak at a campaign event on Monday, Nov. 5, 2012, in downtown Madison, Wis. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
  • With the Wisconsin Capitol dome as a backdrop, President Obama waves to the press as he greets supporters at a campaign event on Monday, Nov. 5, 2012, in downtown Madison, Wis. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)With the Wisconsin Capitol dome as a backdrop, President Obama waves to the press as he greets supporters at a campaign event on Monday, Nov. 5, 2012, in downtown Madison, Wis. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
  • President Obama greets supporters after speaking at a campaign event near the Capitol in Madison, Wis., on Monday, Nov. 5, 2012. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)President Obama greets supporters after speaking at a campaign event near the Capitol in Madison, Wis., on Monday, Nov. 5, 2012. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Running at a breakneck pace in what is shaping up to be one of the tightest presidential battles in American history, President Obama and Mitt Romney spent the last full day of the campaign scouring the country for additional votes, and calling on their troops to give them the ground support they need to capture the White House.

Mr. Obama began his longest day of campaigning in Wisconsin, where he linked up with rocker Bruce Springsteen, and then he dropped into Ohio and Iowa before overnighting in Chicago.

Mr. Romney, meanwhile, started his day with a Florida rally at an airport hangar in the Orlando area before leapfrogging from Virginia to Ohio.

He closed out the day with a racous event in New Hampshire where Kid Rock whipped the thousands in attendance into a frenzy by dancing atop a piano and belting out “Born Free” — the campaign’s theme song.

Speaking in Madison, Wis., Mr. Obama urged his supporters to “keep pushing forward” with their plans to bring change to Washington and to ensure that “no matter who you are, no matter where you come from, no matter how you started out, no matter what your last name is, you can make it here in America if you try.”

“And Wisconsin, that’s why I need your vote,” Mr. Obama said. “And if you’re willing to work with me again, and knock on some doors with me, make some phone calls for me, turn out for me, we’ll win Wisconsin. We’ll win this election. We’ll finish what we’ve started.”

Mr. Romney delivered a similar get-out-the-vote appeal minutes later in Lynchburg, Va., calling on his supporters to make sure they get “every single” person they can to the polls Tuesday and he assured them that “we are only one day away from a fresh start — one day away from the start of a new beginning.”

“If there is anyone who is worried that the last four years are the best we can do,” Mr. Romney said. “If there is anyone who fears the American dream is fading away. If there is anyone who wonders if better jobs and better paychecks are a thing of the past, I have a clear and unequivocal message: Under the right leadership America is about the come roaring back.” 

Polls: A dead heat

The appearances coincided with a CNN/Opinion Research national poll of likely voters that showed the race could not be any closer — a 49 percent to 49 percent tie. A Gallup poll showed Mr. Romney with a 49 percent to 48 percent lead over Mr. Obama.

The race, though, almost certainly will be decided in about eight battleground states, where the vaunted Obama ground game will be pitted against Mr. Romney’s advantage when it comes to overall voter enthusiasm.

Both camps sounded confident that they would win.

“We had a good organization in ‘08 and right now we’re light-years ahead of where we were then,” senior adviser David Plouffe told reporters traveling with Mr. Obama. “We think the president is going to have a very good day tomorrow.”

Kevin Madden, a top Romney adviser, said: “We have an intensity level with our voters that they just don’t have.

“They have relied on a network of paid staffers to try and identify and target voters, just like they did in 2008,” Mr. Madden said. “The problem for them is that they’re finding them, but there aren’t enough of them or the ones they do find are disappointed in Obama and not voting for him this time around.”

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