RICHMOND, Va. —
Now, many of the same surveys show a very tight race nationally and in most of the competitive states, although the president holds a small lead in public and private surveys in Ohio and Wisconsin.
Still struggling to blunt or reverse Romney’s rise in the polls, Obama’s campaign launched two new ads in several of the contested states. One shows the Republican being asked in a “60 Minutes” interview if it’s fair that he paid federal tax of about 14 percent last year on income of $20 million, while a $50,000 wage-earner paid a higher rate. “I think it’s the right way to encourage economic growth,” he says, and the narrator adds: “Lower tax rates for him than us. Is that the way to grow America?”
The second commercial appears aimed at recent comments Romney made suggesting he might not make opposition to abortion a priority. “Maybe you’re wondering what to believe about Mitt Romney,” it says, then shows him pledging to eliminate federal funding for Planned Parenthood.
With control of the Senate and all 435 House seats at stake along with the White House, outside groups that spent months stockpiling money were now in a race to spend it.
American Crossroads, a group backed by former White House strategist Karl Rove, announced this week it was spending $7.4 million in the presidential race, while an allied organization, Crossroads GPS, put down $4 million to help Republicans in five Senate races and another $8.1 million for 11 House campaigns — a total of nearly $20 million.
Some candidates seemed to be showing signs of campaign fatigue.
In a California House race between two Democrats, Rep. Brad Sherman seized the shoulder of Rep. Howard Berman during a debate, yanked him toward his chest and shouted, “You want to get into this?” The two men stood nose to nose before a sheriff’s deputy moved between them.