Romney, Obama to woo undecided voters in last Prez debate



Washington: With the latest opinion surveys showing the US presidential race dead even, President Barack Obama and his Republican rival Mitt Romney would try to woo undecided voters when they hold their third and final debate.

"Foreign policy may be the topic, but undecided voters will be the targets when Mitt Romney and President Obama hold their final debate," Los Angeles Times commented ahead of the 90-minute prime-time debate in Boca Raton, Florida on Tuesday.

"Mobilising supporters is a priority for both men. It is especially vital for Obama, whose backers are less likely to vote than Romney's," the paper said.

With the latest opinion surveys showing a tight race, it is increasingly likely that the next US president will be chosen by a relatively tiny group: swing-state voters who have yet to commit firmly to either candidate, it said.

Obama, 51, the candidate of the Democrats, is holding on to a five-point lead over 65-year-old Romney in Ohio, but that margin has been cut in half since September, according to a new Quinnipiac University/CBS News poll.

An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll yesterday showed Obama and Romney tied at 47 per cent.

A new Politico/George Washington University Battleground tracking poll showed Romney leading 49-47 per cent -- marking the first time the Republican nominee has led since May.

With just two weeks left until the November six election, both campaigns are wooing many of the same voters: non-Cuban Latinos in central Florida, Jews in South Florida and seniors and suburban women almost everywhere.

Republicans remain worried that Obama's extensive get- out-the-vote operation could carry him, and Democrats are concerned that heightened enthusiasm for Romney could give him an edge. As many as 1 in 10 Florida voters may be up for grabs, and Fernando Valladrez is among them.

"I have to watch the debate Monday night to see," Valladrez said.

"I think I might go for Romney," Valladrez, who voted for Obama in 2008, said. "Four years of Obama have not done anything."

Matt Barreto, a University of Washington political science professor who surveys Latino opinion, contends that his independent surveys show the Latino vote continuing to trend toward Obama, in Florida and elsewhere.

Latinos, roughly 17 per cent of the Florida electorate, may be slower to make a final choice, one reason there may be even more undecided voters here than in other swing states. "Latinos do demonstrate a surge in enthusiasm in the last two weeks" before an election, Barreto was quoted as saying by the Los Angeles Times.

Another group both sides are pursuing: Jewish voters, who make up about four per cent of the statewide electorate. No one expects Romney to carry the Jewish vote, but if he can cut into Obama's margins it could make a big difference in a tight Florida race, the report said.

PTI