Obama back on campaign trail Thursday as final push begins

Olivier Knox
The Ticket

President Barack Obama will return to campaigning after spending three days managing the federal response to the deadly superstorm. He's launching a frenetic final push with stops in Wisconsin, Colorado and Nevada.

Come Election Day, the Democrat will watch the results come in at what aides are billing with characteristic audacity (bluster?) as a "victory party" in his hometown of Chicago. (Why the show of confidence? It's not easy to get dispirited volunteers to get depressed voters to the polls.)

Obama travels Thursday to Green Bay, Wis., a state his campaign had long thought was in his "win" column. He will also travel to Boulder, Colo., and Las Vegas, Nev., an aide said.

Former President Bill Clinton, who's in Wisconsin and Ohio on Wednesday, campaigns Thursday in Iowa, with stops in Council Bluffs, Mason City and Waterloo. First lady Michelle Obama will be in Florida on Thursday with stops in Jacksonville, Daytona Beach and Miami.

Recent public opinion polls paint the picture of a razor's edge race, with the two candidates running within the margin of error in most battleground states. Both sides are closely watching Ohio, where surveys have consistently shown Obama leading Romney. The former Massachusetts governor would need to win most of the other up-for-grabs states to secure the 270 Electoral College votes needed to win the White House.

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While the Obama campaign highlighted his lead in Ohio, Republicans pointed to states like Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Minnesota. They suggested that the president and top surrogates were stumping there because of a late Romney surge that put states once thought to be easy wins for Obama in the toss-up column.

The Obama campaign also released a new video starring campaign manager Jim Messina, who sought to project confidence.

"You have put Barack Obama in the dominant position in this race," Messina told the president's supporters. "We are ahead or tied in every single battleground state. The president will win re-election if we do what we need to do."