U.S. President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney are heading out for a final day of campaigning Monday in key battleground states in one last attempt to rally their supporters and break a virtual deadlock in the presidential election.
At a boisterous morning rally in the southern state of Florida, Romney told supporters the Democratic incumbent had fallen well short of the promises he made in winning the 2008 election.
"I mean the president promised a lot of change," Romney told supporters. "But change can't be measured in speeches. It has to be measured in achievement. And four years ago, candidate Obama promised to do oh so very much. But he's fallen oh so very short."
U.S. political analysts say a handful of the country's 50 states will decide Tuesday's election, with the remainder firmly in the grasp of either the president or Romney. U.S. presidential elections are not decided by the national popular vote, but rather by an electoral college system in which the importance of each state on the outcome is roughly equivalent to its population.
The president planned rallies in the battleground states of Wisconsin, Ohio and Iowa, all in the central part of the country. Romney is also heading to Ohio, as well as the mid-Atlantic state of Virginia and ending his campaign where he began it, in the small northeastern state of New Hampshire. Election surveys also show the western state of Colorado as too close to call.
Millions of voters across the country have already cast ballots under early-voting rules. But the vast majority of the electorate will still head to polling places in schools, firehouses, churches and elsewhere on Tuesday.
A vast collection of polls shows the two candidates in a very close race nationally. But state-by-state polls show Obama with steady, but narrow leads in the closely contested states likely to determine the outcome.
Along with the race for president, all 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and 33 of the 100 Senate seats are being contested in Tuesday's election. Analysts generally say Republicans will continue to hold their majority in the House, while members of the president's Democratic party could maintain their slim majority in the Senate.