As Obama's aides worked to poke holes in Romney's foreign policy address, Obama declared a national monument at the Keene, Calif., home of Latino labor leader Cesar Chavez, the United Farmworkers Union founder who died in 1993.
Sure to appeal to some Hispanic voters in swing states, Obama's move came at the start of a day in which he also was raising political cash at events in San Francisco, as his campaign closed in on $1 billion in donations. Democrats said the $181 million they raised in September would allow Obama to keep advertising heavily on television in all battleground states and fully fund major registration and early voting efforts in the campaign's crucial final weeks.
The president has more get-out-the-vote offices than Romney in every competitive state; some offices never closed after the 2008 campaign. Democrats say that network helped them register more than 130,000 new voters — most in battleground states — in the week before the debate. There are more registered Democrats than Republicans in nearly every competitive state with party registration, including Florida and Nevada.
Romney's team is working hard to chip away at that margin.
Democrats have an edge in Iowa, where 62 percent of the 111,000 voters who have cast absentee ballots so far were registered Democrats. Twenty-percent were Republicans and 18 percent were unaffiliated, according to the Iowa secretary of state's office.
In Ohio, a perennial battleground state, Democrats have an edge over Republicans among people who have requested absentee ballots, though relatively few completed ballots have been submitted. Among the 691,000 people who have requested absentee ballots in 49 of the state's 88 counties, 30 percent are Democrats and 24 percent are Republicans. Forty-six percent are unaffiliated voters, according to data collected by the AP.
But Romney's early voting efforts are showing signs of paying off in North Carolina and Florida, two competitive states that the Republican nominee can ill afford to lose.