Obama turns re-election prospects over to voters

Obama turns re-election prospects over to voters

Credit: Getty Images

MADISON, WI - NOVEMBER 05: U.S. President Barack Obama and rocker Bruce Springsteen wave to a crowd of 18,000 people during a rally on the last day of campaigning in the general election November 5, 2012 in Madison, Wisconsin. Obama and his opponent, Republican presidential nominee and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney are stumping from one 'swing state' to the next in a last-minute rush to persuade undecided voters. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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by JULIE PACE and JIM KUHNHENN

Associated Press

Posted on November 6, 2012 at 7:07 AM

CHICAGO (AP) -- President Barack Obama has turned over his re-election prospects to the voters.

Obama closed down his campaign late Monday with a nostalgia-filled rally in Iowa, the state that jumpstarted his first presidential bid. He’ll spend Election Day in his hometown of Chicago, making his last appeals to voters in satellite interviews rather than a final flurry of campaign rallies.

“It all comes down to you,” Obama told supporters in Des Moines on Monday. “It’s out of my hands now. It’s in yours.”

The president heads into Election Day tied with Republican challenger Mitt Romney in national polls. But in some of the key battleground states, including Ohio, Iowa and Wisconsin, that will decide the White House race, Obama appears to have a slight edge.

Obama spent Monday night at the South Side home where he lived with his family before moving to the White House. The Obamas had pledged to come back to Chicago frequently, but the realities of the presidency and the security concerns that come with it made those trips a rarity.

There will be no traditional Election Day photo opportunity of Obama casting his ballot Tuesday. The president voted in Chicago last week, part of his campaign’s efforts to promote early voting. First lady Michelle Obama mailed in an absentee ballot.

One tradition Obama will keep is an Election Day basketball game.

In 2008, Obama played basketball with aides before his win in the kickoff Iowa caucuses. The president and his aides decided to make the games an Election Day tradition after they lost the next contest—the New Hampshire primary—on a day when they didn’t hit the court.

“We made the mistake of not playing basketball once. I can assure you we will not repeat that,” said Robert Gibbs, a longtime Obama aide who joined the president on the road for the campaign’s waning days.

The president will decamp to a downtown Chicago hotel for much of the day. He’ll sit for a series of satellite interviews with television and radio stations and urge his supporters to get to the polls.

Obama will be joined at the hotel later by his family, several close friends and his top aides to watch the election returns. Once a winner is declared, Obama will climb into his black armored limousine and depart for his campaign’s election night party, where he will either deliver a victory speech or a concession.

  

Follow Julie Pace at http://twitter.com/jpaceDC and Jim Kuhnhenn at http://twitter.com/jkuhnhenn

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