Continued from page 2

Conventions done, candidates energized in final stretch

President Obama’s challenge in the art of connecting with an audience has always been to meet the high expectations. For challenger Mitt Romney, it has been to exceed the low ones.

Their party conventions now over, both men are entering the high-speed flat-track ahead of them with new vigor. The two have their own distinctive alchemy with their crowds — Mr. Obama with his lectern-grabbing riffs and his “love-you-backs” and Mr. Romney with his jeans-clad informality in a ramrod frame.

They’re not comparable. But each man, in his own way, heads into the final weeks of the campaign newly energized.

From wire dispatches and staff reports