Adrenaline and a boatload of campaign cash are the fuel as President Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney open a two-week dash to the November elections.


President Barack Obama during the Presidential Debate at Lynn University in Florida. (Marc Serota/Getty Images)

All the focus now is on the nine states whose electoral votes are still considered up for grabs.

Obama campaigns today in Florida and Ohio.

Obama's team sees a win in Ohio as the best way of ensuring re-election. And it says internal polling gives Obama a lead in the state, partly because of the president's bailout of the auto industry.

Romney & Ryan On The Road


Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks during the third Presidential debate (Marc Serota/Getty Images)

Romney and running mate Paul Ryan are picking up the pace of their campaigning as well, and their schedule reflects an overarching strategy to drive up GOP vote totals in areas already friendly to the Republican nominee.

The Denver suburbs. Cincinnati. Reno, Nev. They're places that typically vote Republican, but where McCain fell short of the margins he needed to defeat Obama. To win in all-important Ohio, the GOP nominee must outperform McCain in typically Republican areas.

Romney and Ryan start their two-week dash in Henderson, Nev., then hopscotch to the Denver area for a rally with rocker-rapper Kid Rock and country music's Rodney Atkins at the Red Rocks Amphitheatre. Then Romney heads back to Nevada, on to Iowa and then east to Ohio for three overnights in a row. By week's end, he's likely to be back in Florida.

The following week brings a significant uptick in Romney's schedule. Aides say he'll touch down in two or three states a day, or hold that many daily events in big states like Florida.

Obama makes closing argument to voters in new ad

President Barack Obama is making his closing argument to voters, arguing the country has made progress under his watch and can't turn back now.

Obama makes the pitch in a new 60-second television advertisement released the morning after the final presidential debate.

In the spot, Obama speaks directly to the camera about his plans for a second term, including boosting manufacturing and spending on education. He also touts first-term accomplishments, including the bailout of the auto industry and the end of the Iraq war.

The ad's softer tone is a departure from the sharply critical spots the campaign has run in recent weeks as it seeks to stall Republican Mitt Romney's momentum.

The ad is running in seven battleground states: New Hampshire, Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, Ohio, Wisconsin and Colorado.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)