, BRISTOW, United States, Nov 4 – President Barack Obama and Republican rival Mitt Romney will fight crushing fatigue on Sunday as they criss-cross America on the penultimate day of their tense White House campaign as a new poll showed them running neck-and-neck.
Obama and Romney are both showing signs of exhaustion as they dart from swing state to swing state, trying to fire up enthusiasm among supporters and win over any last wavering voters before Tuesday’s election.
His voice husky from endless rallies, Obama will fly to New Hampshire to reprise a late-night buddy act with Bill Clinton on Saturday, which saw the former president place his popular economic legacy on the younger man’s shoulders.
On a grueling swing that will end in Wisconsin in the early hours of Tuesday, Obama will also travel to Florida, Colorado and Ohio on Sunday.
Romney, clearly also feeling the pace of the frenzied endgame of a bitter White House race, will be in Iowa, Ohio and Virginia.
The Republican nominee will also make a run into Pennsylvania, long seen as a safe Obama state, but which Republicans think is now in play.
Obama seemed late on Saturday to come to a wistful public realization that after spending hundreds of millions of dollars, heading interminable rallies and traveling for months, his fate was no longer in his own hands.
“I’m just a prop of the campaign,” Obama told a crowd of 24,000 people on a chilly night in an outdoor concert venue in Bristow, Virginia.
“The power is not with us anymore, the planning, everything we do, it doesn’t matter.”
“It’s all up to you, it’s up to the volunteers… you have got the power. That’s how democracy is supposed to be.”
Clinton told the crowd that Obama had done his best with “a bad hand” and deserved to be re-elected, as, in his folksy southern way, he went about dismantling Romney’s record and his ability to serve as president.
“I have given my voice in the service of my president,” a hoarse Clinton said on the latest of more than two dozen campaign events for Obama, before 24,000 people on a chill night in the battleground state of Virginia.
Clinton, a valuable character witness for Obama, will headline four rallies for Obama on Monday in Pennsylvania, to counter Romney’s late push into the state.
Obama’s team says Romney’s raid is a sign of desperation and an acknowledgement that he can no longer put together the 270 electoral votes needed to win the election in the classic swing states.
They insist that they are in no danger of losing the state.