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Candidates begin Election Day blitz

President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney began their sprint to the finish Tuesday: trying to close the sale with moderate and undecided voters.

Obama emerged from his final debate with Romney to unveil a slick booklet restating his second-term agenda and a television ad in which he looks into the camera and declares: "It's an honor to be your president, and I'm asking for your vote."

At an enthusiastic rally of about 11,000 supporters in Delray Beach, Obama referred to the agenda, saying, "look right here and find out what it is I intend to do in a second term." Aides said they were printing 3.5 million copies of the pamphlet to mail and hand out in battleground states.

Romney began his post-debate travels Tuesday with his running mate, Rep. Paul D. Ryan, in Nevada and Colorado. Romney will make another stop in Nevada today and then continue on to Iowa. Obama has a rally Thursday in Tampa.

Pregnancy from rape 'intended' by God

Indiana Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock said Tuesday that when a woman is impregnated during a rape, "it is something that God intended."

Mourdock was asked Tuesday during the final minutes of a debate in New Albany, Ind., whether abortion should be allowed in cases of rape or incest.

He replied: "... Life is a gift from God, and I think even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen."

In response to Mourdock's comment, Democratic candidate Joe Donnelly said after the debate that he doesn't believe "my God, or any God, would intend that to happen."

Mourdock and Donnelly have been locked in a tight race since the Republican primary in May, when Mourdock defeated longtime GOP Sen. Richard Lugar.

Mourdock's campaign clarified after the debate that Mourdock was not saying that God intends for rapes to occur.

"God creates life, and that was my point," Mourdock said in the statement. "God does not want rape, and by no means was I suggesting that he does."

DEBATE VIEWERS: An estimated 59.2 million people tuned in to watch the final debate between President Barack Obama and GOP challenger Mitt Romney on Monday night. An estimated 65.6 million viewers watched the second debate Oct. 16, according to Nielsen. The first debate drew more than 67 million viewers.

Information from the Associated Press and McClatchy Newspapers was used in this report.

Candidates begin Election Day blitz 10/23/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, October 23, 2012 11:29pm]
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