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'I care,' Romney declares, as he duels with Obama in Ohio (+video)

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Specifically in Ohio, two surveys show the president crossing the 50 percent mark among likely voters. A Washington Post poll found Obama ahead 52 percent to 44 percent among those most likely to turn out, and a Quinnipiac University/CBS News/New York Times poll showed a 10-point Obama lead among definite voters.

Noting anew the Romney video comments, Obama said Wednesday: "We understand that America is not about what can be done for us. It's about what can be done by us together, as one nation, as one people."

And he added: "You can't make it happen if you write off half the nation before you take office."

Romney was showing signs of picking up his pace, and he did not mince words about his expectations.

"Were we to re-elect President Obama there is no question in my mind we'd face four more difficult years," he said. "If, instead I — no, instead, when I become president, we're going to get this economy growing again, we're going to do the things that ignite this economy."

Romney scheduled a blizzard of interviews with ABC, CBS and NBC, his second round of broadcast network appearances in three days after weeks of ignoring their requests. He also did interviews Tuesday with Fox News and CNN.

"I'm very pleased with some polls, less so with other polls," he told ABC. "But frankly, at this early stage, polls go up, polls go down."

The new Romney TV ad, at 60 seconds, is a longer and softer approach in which he speaks about people struggling to pay for food and gas with falling incomes.

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