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Polling shows Obama with a slight lead nationally, as well as in many of the eight or so battleground states that will decide the election. That includes Virginia, where Democrats with access to internal polling say Obama is up 3 or 4 percentage points over Romney in Virginia, a slimmer margin than in some recent public polling.

Obama has also pulled ahead of Romney in cash on hand, a key measure of a campaign’s financial strength. The Democrat has more than $88 million to spend in the campaign’s final weeks, while Romney has just over $50 million at his disposal.

Romney is facing criticism from some in his own party that he’s spending too much time raising money and not enough time talking to voters in the eight or so battleground states that will decide the election. In response, his campaign added a Sunday rally in Colorado to his schedule and announced a three-day Ohio bus tour that kicks off Monday.

At the same time, his wife, Ann, said GOP critics should lay off. “Stop it. This is hard. You want to try it? Get in the ring,” she said Thursday evening in an interview with Radio Iowa.

“This is hard, and you know, it’s an important thing that we’re doing right now, and it’s an important election,” she said. “And it is time for all Americans to realize how significant this election is and how lucky we are to have someone with Mitt’s qualifications and experience and know-how to be able to have the opportunity to run this country.”

Pickler reported from Washington. Associated Press writer Julie Pace in Washington contributed to this report.