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Published: Sunday, 10/28/2012

Candidates push hard to secure early votes


LAND O’LAKES, Fla. — Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney dangled a plea for bipartisanship before early voters in Florida on Saturday as President Obama worked to nail down tiny New Hampshire’s four electoral votes.

Both campaigns scrambled to steer clear of a most unlikely October surprise, a super storm barreling up the East Coast.

Mr. Romney, who has been striking a more moderate tone as he courts women and independents in the campaign’s home stretch, campaigned across Florida with a pledge to “build bridges” with the other party.

He coupled that message with digs at Mr. Obama for “shrinking from the magnitude of the times” and advancing an agenda Mr. Romney claims lacks vision.

Noting that Obama supporters like to chant “four more years” at the President’s campaign rallies, Mr. Romney picked up on his crowd’s own chant at the Pensacola Civic Center and said: “I like ‘10 more days’ a lot better.”

Mr. Obama spoke to volunteers at a Teamsters hall in Manchester, N.H.

“We don’t know how this thing is going to play out," he said. “These four electoral votes right here could make all the difference.”

The President adjusted his campaign speech at a Nashua rally to appeal to voters in low-tax New Hampshire, hammering Mr. Romney for raising taxes and fees as governor of neighboring Massachusetts.

The candidates worked to lock down every possible early vote without intruding on emergency preparations for the storm in North Carolina, Virginia, Ohio, and New Hampshire.

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