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US Presidential Election: Obama and Romney Seek Swing States' Votes - Reuters Reuters

US President Barack Obama and Republican contender Mitt Romney are pitching for votes in the swing states in the crucial last few days before the presidential election.

The nominees are keen to appeal to the swing states such as Ohio and Wisconsin, which could decide who enters the White House.

Both Obama and Romney have passionately campaigned on a series of issues ranging from the economy to the unemployment rate.

The latest government report shows that the jobless rate rose slightly to 7.9 percent from 7.8 percent, and Romney is taking full advantage of the figures to hammer Obama.

Blaming the Obama administration for the rise, Romney said during his Wisconsin campaign that the report once again proves the failure of Obama's leadership.

"Candidate Obama promised change, but he couldn't deliver it. I promise change, but I have a record of achieving it. [Obama] has never led, never worked across the aisle, never truly understood how jobs are created in the economy," said Romney, adding the report is a grim reminder that the economy is at a virtual standstill.

Romney said: "The question of this election comes down to this: do you want more of the same or do you want real change?"

Obama put up a stout defence, appealing to Ohio voters: "We've made real progress, but we've got more work to do."

The vice-presidential candidates are also in campaign mode.

Ohio has been seen as the state that may well decide who the next president will be. "Your state is the one I'm counting on, by the way. This is the one we have to win," said the former Massachusetts governor.

Opinion polls predict a close contest between Obama and Romney with a slight edge for Obama, including in Ohio.

Obama is expected to continue his election campaign in key battlegrounds of Iowa, Virginia, Ohio, Florida, Colorado, New Hampshire and Wisconsin during the last weekend ahead of the polling day on 6 November.

Meanwhile, 24 million Americans, including Obama, have already cast their votes in early ballots.