By TOM RAUM, Associated Press
As campaign days dwindle, candidates quicken their pace. Every audience becomes extremely important, rallies usually become larger, noisier and more energetic and campaign travel becomes busier and focused on key battleground states — where political television ads now blare nearly around-the-clock.
Both candidates also are extending their outreach in the final days to important voting blocs, most recently women. The president has held a lead with women voters in most polls, but some recent surveys suggest some shifting loyalties.
Republican Mitt Romney’s debate remarks that he had reviewed “binders full of women” for top-level jobs when he was governor of Massachusetts gave President Barack Obama new ammunition.
“We don’t have to order up some binders to find qualified, talented, driven young women to learn and teach and thrive and start businesses,” Obama said after the debate.
Two days after their combative second debate, both Obama and Romney were to share another platform as both address an annual Catholic charity banquet in New York.
But the tone is sure to be less tense. Presidential candidates usually make humorous remarks, poking fun at both opponents and themselves at the annual Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner, a white-tie event named after a former New York governor. Four years ago, Obama and John McCain swapped self-deprecating jokes instead of campaign jabs at the same dinner.
On the way to New York, Obama attended an outdoor campaign rally in Manchester, N.H. where he taunted Romney’s efforts to promote his economic plan, which Democrats claim mostly benefits the wealthy.
Vice President Joe Biden campaigned in Nevada for a second day and GOP vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan had two campaign stops in Florida.
The final presidential debate is Monday in Boca Raton, Fla. at 9 p.m EDT.