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THE RACE: Candidates buffing images in final push


Fresh from their final debate, President Barack Obama and challenger Mitt Romney are in a full-throttle drive to the finish line — courting independent and undecided voters, prodding supporters to cast their ballots and smoothing over some rough edges in their campaigns.

It comes as many voters take a last close look at the rivals with just two weeks to go and polls suggesting a dead heat.

Obama is repackaging and refining some of his earlier domestic proposals to meet objections from Republicans and some Democrats that he's been too vague on a second-term agenda.

Romney is seeking to portray himself as a calm, steady alternative commander-in-chief. Monday night in Boca Raton, Fla., he sought to blunt his foreign-policy differences with Obama on some incendiary global issues — including Syria and the deadly terrorist attack on a U.S. consulate in Libya.

"Last night, he was all over the map. Did you notice that?" Obama said Tuesday at a rally in Delray Beach, Fla., not far from Monday night's debate site.

And he reminded his audience "you get to start voting on Saturday" to join millions of Americans who are taking advantage of early voting before Election Day on Nov. 6.

Obama later was joining Vice President Joe Biden in Dayton, Ohio. Romney and ticket mate Rep. Paul Ryan planned joint stops in Nevada and Colorado.

Ryan said Tuesday that Romney presented "clear answers" in his debate while "What we got from President Obama were mostly attacks on Mitt Romney."

It will be full-time campaigning for both teams between now and election day.

Obama repackaged an array of his previous specific proposals Tuesday in a glossy 20-page "Plan for Jobs and Middle-Class Security."

An accompanying TV ad was being run in nine remaining battlegrounds: New Hampshire, Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, Ohio, Iowa, Wisconsin, Nevada and Colorado.

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Follow Tom Raum on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/tomraum. For more AP political coverage, look for the 2012 Presidential Race in AP Mobile's Big Stories section. Also follow https://twitter.com/APcampaign and AP journalists covering the campaign: https://twitter.com/AP/ap-campaign-2


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