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Campaign 2012: Crunch time for Obama and Romney

With one debate under their belts, President Barack Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney head into the final month of the presidential campaign. Expect an onslaught of ads, and a lively vice presidential debate this week.

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Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama speak during their first presidential debate at the University of Denver, Colo. The candidates now enter the final month of campaigning.

Eric Gay/David Goldman/AP/File

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Rumbling into its final four weeks, the presidential campaign is playing out on both coasts and multiple fronts, with Republican Mitt Romney seeking stature on foreign affairs and President Barack Obama raising political cash by the millions.

Negative ads, charges of dishonesty and dwindling time are all setting the tone.

Joining celebrities for fundraising in Los Angeles on Sunday, Obama for the first time needled himself over a poor debate performance. But he declared he had the right focus and "I intend to win."

Romney was in Virginia, trying to bury the memories of his fumbled trip abroad this summer and knock Obama back on national security. "Hope is not a strategy," he said in excerpts of a Monday speech at the Virginia Military Institute.

The campaigns also were eyeing the next debate, the sole faceoff between Vice President Joe Biden and the GOP running mate, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, which will grab even more attention as the Thursday night event nears. Ryan's challenge is to overcome his lack foreign policy expertise or national debate experience against Biden, who has extensive experience on both fronts.

Ryan said voters are paying closer attention as Election Day approaches and accused the Democratic ticket of distorting the GOP ticket's record.

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