Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Presidential Election

November 5, 2012

On final lap, Romney, Obama focus on key states

(Continued)

Aboard Air Force One, the president also was making calls to Democratic candidates to wish them well, including Senate contender Elizabeth Warren in Massachusetts.

Obama will also benefit from some star power Monday. Rock legend Bruce Springsteen is joining him at all three campaign rallies, and rapper Jay-Z will join them in Columbus.

Romney, for his part, has appeared more relaxed on the campaign trail, where he's been joined by most of his longtime senior aides. Much of the planning and strategy is finished, they say, and they wanted to spend the final days of the campaign at Romney's side.

Adviser Kevin Madden said Romney was spending much of his time working on his laptop, reading and writing in his journal. The Republican candidate also recently joined his aides in an hour-and-a-half discussion about their favorite movies. Romney's? "O Brother, Where Art Thou," which stars Obama pal George Clooney.

As aides for both candidates looked for early marks of success, there were signs for the superstitious. Since 1936, with only one exception, whenever the Washington Redskins won on the Sunday before the election, the incumbent party would retain the White House. On Sunday, the Redskins lost to the Carolina Panthers, giving hope to Republicans.

But the Obama camp often compares this election to 2004, when President George W. Bush held the White House in his race against Democrat John Kerry. That year was the exception to the rule; the Redskins lost, and so did Kerry.

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Associated Press writers Julie Pace in Madison, Kasie Hunt and Steve Peoples in Pennsylvania and Stephen Ohlemacher in Washington contributed to this report

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Presidential Election