Obama’s Night: Making His Case for a Second Term

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"If the president is going to report on the promises he made and how he has performed in those promises, I'd love to watch it," Romney said. "But if it's another series of new promises that he's not going to keep, I have no interest in seeing him because I saw the promises last time."

It will likely be a week or more before the two campaigns can fully digest post-convention polls and adjust their strategies for the fall.

Based on the volume of campaign appearances to date and the hundreds of millions of dollars spent already on television advertising, the election appears likely to be decided in a small number of battleground states. The list includes New Hampshire, Virginia, Ohio, Colorado, Nevada and Iowa, as well as Florida and North Carolina, the states where first Republicans and then Democrats held their conventions. Those states hold 100 electoral votes among them, out of 270 needed to win the White House.

Money has become an ever-present concern for the Democrats, an irony given the overwhelming advantage Obama held over John McCain in the 2008 campaign.

This time, Romney is outpacing him, and independent groups seeking the Republican's election are pouring tens of millions of dollars into television advertising, far exceeding what Obama's supporters can afford.

"We've got 17 angry, old, white men who are pouring in millions of dollars, carpet bombing every candidate in sight," said Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, referring to wealthy Republicans who have written checks for a million dollars or more to Americans for Prosperity and Restore Our Future.

Officials disclosed that former President Bill Clinton, who made a forceful convention speech advocating Obama's re-election on Wednesday night, would campaign aggressively for the Democratic ticket this fall. His first appearance is set for Florida next week.

On Obama's conference call to supporters who were cut out of seeing Thursday night's session, Obama exhorted them to continue their work on voter registration and other pre-election activity.

He said North Carolina is "Exhibit A of the unbelievable work that's being done at the grassroots level. You guys are blowing it up when it comes to registering voters."

Official figures show about 30,000 Democrats have been registered to vote in the state since 2008, but some party leaders said recent canvassing had pushed the actual figure far higher.

On the call, the president commiserated with those who would no longer be able to see him speak.

"The problem was a safety issue. I could not ask you, all volunteers, law enforcement, first responders to subject themselves to the risk of severe thunderstorms," he said.

A few hours later, the skies opened up with a torrential downpour.

Romney's campaign released its first new television ad since the convention season began.

It shows Clinton sharply questioning Obama's credibility on the Iraq War in 2008, saying "Give me a break, this whole thing is the biggest fairy tale I've ever seen." Obama was running against Hillary Rodham Clinton at the time for the Democratic nomination.

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