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Two Days Out: It's All About Election Day Turnout

With Election Day just two days away, the presidential campaigns of Democratic President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Gov. Mitt Romney are spending the final hours criss-crossing the swing states trying to get their supporters to the polls.

Update 6:15 p.m. EDT:

In the latest and final Pew Research Center poll before Tuesday's election, President Obama has edged ahead of Romney, 50 percent to 47 percent in the national popular vote.

Obama leads Romney 48 percent to 45 percent in the poll of 2,709 likely voters, which has a margin of error of 2.2 percentage points. The poll was conducted Oct. 31-Nov. 3.

Just last week, a previous Pew Research poll had the candidates in a dead heat at 47 percent.

Our original post continues:

NPR's Scott Horsley, on the road with Obama, reports that the president has another jam-packed day planned. He'll visit five states today, including New Hampshire with former President Bill Clinton, following an itinerary that runs well past midnight tonight.

It's all with a goal of getting his supporters to show up on Tuesday. The message of why to vote for Obama is giving way to urging action.

"If you've already early voted, then go grab some friends and neighbors and co-workers and boyfriends and girlfriends," Obama said. "Now, you should convince them to vote for me before you drag 'em to the polls."

Romney is scheduled to be in Iowa, Ohio and Pennsylvania today. That last state holds a particularly interesting place on the agenda. It's not that the evening rally itself is remarkable, but that the Keystone State is in the mix at all.

In recent years Pennsylvania has been a solid performer for Democratic presidential candidates. Although polls have shown Obama leading there, Romney's campaign insists the state and its 20 electoral votes are up for grabs. In recent weeks, the Romney campaign has spent money on television advertising in Pennsylvania, in part because they have so much of it.

But buying TV ads is easy; scheduling the candidate to make an appearance in the final days of the campaign is something else entirely. The fact that Romney is visiting Pennsylvania today means one of two things: either the state really is viable for the Republican, or the Romney campaign believes it's critical to their turn-out success in other battleground states to give the appearance that a big blue state is on the verge of turning red.

As NPR's Ari Shapiro reports from the trail, Romney's focus in the final days on New Hampshire and Iowa, two states with highly motivated voters for both parties, shows his eagerness to strike a moderate tone in the final hours of the campaign.

"What I need you to do is to go across your street to your neighbor that has that other sign in the front yard," Romney said. "And in Washington I'm going to go across the aisle, to the guys who've been working for the other candidate."

At the same time, Romney is also using a more partisan figure to help rev up enthusiasm for the base of the Republican Party. As The New York Times reports, Glenn Beck has been making appearances for Romney in places like Iowa, where his natural connection with evangelical voters could be key to success on Tuesday.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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