In Final Days of Presidential Election, Fighting County by County
President Obama and Mitt Romney are plunging into the final nine days of a multibillion-dollar presidential race focused not only on the seven most competitive states, but also on battleground counties within them that could tip the balance of an exceedingly close contest.
The Romney campaign office in Abingdon, Va. Virginia is particularly vital to Mitt Romney, particularly if he does not win Ohio.
They include the suburbs here in Franklin County, Ohio, where many young married women turned to Mr. Obama in 2008 out of frustration with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan but could turn against him now for perceived failures on his campaign promises and a slow-to-recover economy.
In Colorado, it is Arapahoe County, where Mr. Romney’s campaign is courting Hispanic business owners who are frustrated with the national health care law. It is Hillsborough County in Florida, where both sides agree that whoever wins the independent voters is likely to be president.
At this late stage of the race, the fight for the White House is being waged on intensely local terrain, in places whose voting histories and demographics have been studied in minute detail by both sides. Mr. Obama is intent on replicating an electorate that swept him into office four years ago and is heavily dependent on younger, female and minority voters. Mr. Romney is relying on an older, whiter and more conservative voting group, along the lines of the ones that turned out in 2004 and 2010.
The Romney campaign, worried about its options in the seven top battleground states, opened a fund-raising drive on Saturday to try and expand the playing field into Pennsylvania and Minnesota, two states that Mr. Obama has considered safe. Mr. Romney is also making a deeper push this week into Wisconsin, which he will visit for the first time in two months.
“The switch that went on after that first debate is still on,” said Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, a Republican. “I still think people are undecided, they are still listening.”