Elections 2012: Obama Ends Campaign in Iowa, the State where it all Began

President Barack Obama hosted the last campaign event of his political career in Des Moines, Iowa.

Barack Obama made his final case to the American nation on Monday, capping a grueling, negative, multi-billion dollar campaign and handing his fate to voters. Photo: Barack Obama/Flickr

Both presidential candidates completed their final pitches to the voters in a series of rallies across the country on Monday.

According to the recent polls, Barack Obama and his Republican rival Mitt are still effectively tied in polls of likely national voters, with the president’s slight lead of just a 0.4-point on average.

When Obama was speaking in front of his 2008 caucus headquarters on Monday evening, it seemed at times as if the four years haven’t passes.

“I came back to ask you to help us finish what we started because this is where our movement for change began,” the U.S. president declared.

“To all of you who’ve lived and breathed the hard work of change: I want to thank you. You took this campaign and made it your own … starting a movement that spread across the country.”

He added: “When the cynics said we couldn’t, you said yes we can. You said yes we can and we did. Against all odds, we did,” he said.

Speaking to a crowd of about 20,000, President Obama summed his speech up with the same story he told on the last day of his previous campaign back in 2008: about the origins of his signature “fired-up-ready-to-go” chant.

“The biggest difference between 2008 and 2012 is that the sense of the mission changed,” said one Obama campaign adviser on condition of anonymity.

“In 2008, there was the sense of optimism and hope around the mission – of changing the world. In 2012, the mission is as much the clear-eyed recognition of how important stopping the other side is. It is a grimmer, more realistic sense of mission.”

When asked whether he felt the campaign had a leg up because of experience, top adviser David Axelrod told The Huffington Post: “There is no doubt about it. The experience of having done it helps. The people who are running our operations are the people who have been with us for five years.”

While the president focused on Wisconsin, Ohio and Iowa, the three Midwestern swing states that, barring surprises elsewhere, would give him 270 electoral votes, the Republican challenger went to the must-win states of Florida, Virginia and Ohio.

As Reuters reports, the former Massachusetts governor ended Monday at a raucous “Final Victory” rally in Manchester, New Hampshire, the city where he launched his campaign last year.

“We’re one day away from a fresh start. We’re one day away from a new beginning,” the candidate told the crowd of 12,000 at a sports arena in the center of the city.

He went on, adding: “Tomorrow is a moment to look into the future and imagine what we can do, to put that past four years behind us and build a new future. Walk with me. Tomorrow, we begin a new tomorrow.”

Many of the recent opinion polls show Obama with a slight lead in Ohio, Wisconsin, Iowa and Nevada – states that would provide him with more than the 270 electoral votes he needs, barring any surprises elsewhere.

“It’s really a game of inches. It’s extremely close, but things look pretty optimistic for Obama, I would say, if you do the electoral math,” Ipsos pollster Julia Clark said.

A Reuters/Ipsos poll of four pivotal states found out the candidates in Florida and Colorado, with Obama holding a statistically unimportant lead in Virginia of 1 percentage point. But in crucial Ohio, Obama had 48 percent to Romney’s 44 percent.

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