Obama, Romney in search of independent voters

Associated Press
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FILE - In this Oct. 27, 2012, file photo, President Barack Obama, left, speaks to supporters at a campaign event at Elm Street Middle School in Nashua, N.H. Political mailers are stuffed in their front doors and the phone rings nonstop. Under a fall canopy of crimson and golden leaves, the battle for independent voters is being waged hour by hour in battleground New Hampshire. The state offers only four electoral votes in next week's presidential election, but Obama and challenger Mitt Romney are vying fiercely here for the remaining independent voters, who are decidedly ambivalent about either candidate. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) — President Barack Obama won a majority of independent voters in 2008 with visions of a post-partisan administration poised to break the logjam in Washington. Four years later, the gridlock remains and the hunt for independents is on.

With a week before Election Day, Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney are locked in a razor-thin race nationally and competing for a rapidly diminishing number of unaligned, independent voters, who could comprise 30 percent or more of the electorate in a series of battleground states.

Romney has pursued independents with a message of economic growth and fiscal restraint, warning that Obama's policies have driven up the federal debt. Obama says the nation needs balance in reducing budget deficits while maintaining spending priorities.

Both sides say independents could be crucial.