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President Obama is matching his opponent mile for mile, campaigning today across the country and late into the night. He set off this morning on tour that will take him to half a dozen battleground states before he returns to the White House late tomorrow. NPR's Scott Horsley is tagging along with the president.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: This is where it got started, Iowa. I believe in you and I'm asking you to keep believing in me.
SCOTT HORSLEY, BYLINE: The Mississippi Valley Fair Grounds was the president's first stop on this campaign marathon. In Davenport, Iowa and at every stop along the way, Mr. Obama showing off a glossy new brochure that details his goals if he's given a second term. Mr. Obama is urging supporters to share his plan with any friends and co-workers who might still be on the fence.
OBAMA: I want everybody out there to compare my plans to Governor Romney's. Have the information you need, see which plan is better for you and for America's future.
HORSLEY: But if this trip is one part persuasion, it's about 10 parts mobilization. Polls show a close race in all the swing states Mr. Obama is visiting this week. So the round-the-clock campaigning is meant to energize supporters in hopes that excitement translates to votes. The Obama campaign has also spent more than a year building what it hopes will be a more effective ground game to deliver supporters to the polls.
Mr. Obama had a direct message for the Davenport crowd of 3,500.
OBAMA: Now it's up to you, Iowa, right here, right now, today. You've got a chance to choose the path that we're going to take from here.
HORSLEY: Out in the audience, Heather Corey wore a sticker saying she already voted for Mr. Obama. She's also volunteering in hopes of persuading some of her friends.
HEATHER COREY: We walked in that parade. We live in a little town called Eldridge. It's about 10 miles from here. And we walked in the parade with our Obama signs, and I'm hoping to make home phone calls as we get closer.
HORSLEY: Corey not only lives in a swing state, she comes from a swing family. Her four brothers typically vote Republican. But Corey is working to win them over with help from her mother, Virginia Haycraft.
VIRGINIA HAYCRAFT: I've been on this planet 77 years and we don't want to go backwards. We want to go forward and that's Obama. So I don't know if they'll listen, hopefully they will.
HORSLEY: From Iowa, Mr. Obama traveled to Colorado with additional stops planned in Nevada, Florida, Virginia and Ohio. In between swing state rallies, the president will detour to Los Angeles to appear on "The Tonight Show" and Chicago, where he'll cast his own early vote tomorrow.
OBAMA: We got early vote in Illinois, just like we got early vote here in Iowa.
HORSLEY: Every vote counts is the message right now. The Obama campaign hopes to put some urgency on that idea with a new ad that resurrects the Florida recount of 2000, which put George W. Bush in the White House.
(SOUNDBITE OF POLITICAL AD)
UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: Five hundred and thirty-seven, the number of votes that changed the course of American history...
UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: Florida is too close to call.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: ...the difference between what was and what could have been.
HORSLEY: This ad is running in eight battleground states. Scott Horsley, NPR News, Denver. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.