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THE RACE: Candidates making final pitch for votes

Associated Press Published: November 5, 2012

The presidential candidates and their running mates dashed from one battleground state to another Monday in a grand finale to one of the longest, fiercest and by far most expensive American campaigns ever.

They were pursuing elusive last-minute votes able to put one or the other over the top.

On Election Day eve, President Barack Obama led rival Mitt Romney in most national and many swing-state polls, but that advantage was razor-thin and within margins of error.

Both candidates focused on states they see as especially tight or where they're ahead but vulnerable.

"We can begin a better tomorrow, tomorrow," Romney told a morning airport-hangar rally in Sanford, Fla., as the crowd chanted back "one more day!"

The former Massachusetts governor, who has been running for president for most of the past six years, was also stumping in Ohio — historically a must-win state for Republicans — then Virginia and New Hampshire.

Obama, with rock legend Bruce Springsteen in tow, was campaigning in Wisconsin, Ohio and Iowa.

"I get to fly around with him on the last day that I will ever campaign," Obama said of the entertainer at a rally in Madison, Wis. "So that's not a bad way to end things."

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