Obama Rocks Granite State
October 30, 2012
by Richard Weir
New Hampshire offers the puniest haul of electoral votes among the nine battleground states but President Obama yesterday campaigned throughout the state, a sign of just how exceptionally tight the race for the White House is, political experts said.
"They are remembering 2000. Those four electoral votes in New Hampshire are the difference between winning and losing," Larry Sabato, director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia, said of Obama's strategists. "If Al Gore had won New Hampshire, he would have been president. Forget about Florida."
Mitt Romney wasn't forgetting about Florida - or its 29 electoral votes, the most among the nine swing states. The former Bay State governor courted Florida's undecided voters yesterday during a stop in Pensacola.
Meanwhile, Obama crisscrossed New Hampshire, ending a three-stop tour by delivering a stump speech to 8,500 supporters at a Nashua elementary school.
Mindful of the state's aversion to taxes, the president suggested Romney pledged to fight for middle class families when running for governor of Massachusetts but once in office hit them with $750 million in taxes and fees.
"He raised fees to get a birth certificate, which would have been expensive for me," Obama said at the outdoor rally in Nashua, alluding to his "birther-movement" critics.
Romney campaign spokesman Ryan Williams called Obama's criticism of the former governor's record "laughable," charging, "President Obama is the only candidate in this race who has raised taxes on America's middle class."
Romney, who has been striking a more moderate tone as he courts women and independents, campaigned across Florida with a pledge to "build bridges" with the other party. He coupled that message with digs at Obama for an agenda that lacks vision.
With 10 days to go, Obama is ahead in states and the District of Columbia representing 237 electoral votes; Romney has a comfortable lead in states with 191 electoral votes. The rest lays in nine states that are too close to call, among them New Hampshire.
"This thing is most likely to come down to the wire. So you can't take any state for granted, " said Peter Ubertaccio, political science professor at Stonehill College. "New Hampshire plays an important role because you don't have a predetermined result there."
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