Tuesday night’s presidential debate may be the last time the candidates can influence how they are perceived before voters go to the polls.
While President Obama reviewed his strategy for next week's town hall debate with Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential candidate spent time in Ohio trying to woo any still-undecided voters left in the crucial swing state.
Both candidates have also upped their television presence. Romney’s campaign has invested heavily in TV advertising in swing states while President Obama’s team has a released a new ad narrated by Morgan Freeman.
The Associated Press reported that Obama spent Saturday morning on the radio reminding voters about what he’s accomplished. He continued the theme that Joe Biden began during the vice-presidential debate when Biden reminded Paul Ryan that Romney advocated “letting Detroit go bankrupt.”
“We refused to throw in the towel and do nothing. We refused to let Detroit go bankrupt,” Obama said. “GM is back. Ford and Chrysler are growing again. Together, our auto industry has created nearly a quarter of a million new jobs right here in America.”
The ad for Obama with Morgan Freeman saw the accomplished actor outline the president’s success with auto workers and the killing of Osama Bin Laden.
Saturday was Romney’s last day in Ohio, a state that carries 18 electoral votes and has been deemed almost essential for Romney to win if he wants to ensure a presidential victory. Without a win in Ohio, Romney would have to carry almost all of the other swing states.
Restore Our Future, a super PAC devoted to helping Romney win the election, has spent $14 million on advertisements set to air in nine states in the final week of October. Voters in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Virginia, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Ohio and Virginia will all see an uptick in attack ads against Obama, an effort “driven by Romney and well-funded allies,” according to the Washington Post.
Even though Obama raised $181 million in September, Romney’s momentum following the presidential debate has been enough to line his campaign’s pockets. Donations and super PAC fundraising efforts will go toward advertising that could be enough to sway some voters still unsure of who they’ll vote for.
“Advertising at the end typically makes the biggest difference to these voters,” Republican media strategist Brad Todd told the Washington Post.
Other pundits put an extra focus on Tuesday night’s debate. Steve Schmidt, John McCain’s chief political strategist in 2008, told the Boston Globe that if Obama doesn’t recover on Tuesday night, “it’s going to go south for him.”
“The race is tightening,” said Democratic campaign consultant Mo Elleithee. “It will be very, very close, but the president will win re-election.”
Obama has held a consistent lead in Ohio while Romney recently took the lead in Florida.