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Romney Exudes Confidence In Nevada, Iowa


Mitt Romney has also accelerated the pace of his campaign. Yesterday, he was in four states and four time zones, as the endurance test intensifies.

NPR's Ari Shapiro is traveling with the Romney campaign.

ARI SHAPIRO, BYLINE: Mitt Romney woke up in Colorado and flew to Nevada. His event there was just across the street from a resort called Circus Circus - not a bad metaphor for this final election season hullaballoo. The Republican candidate catapulted back and forth across thousands of miles yesterday, holding his first rally of the day in Reno.


SHAPIRO: He tried to make this election personal for the audience, describing how his presidency would impact each member of a family. He gave specific examples for seniors, working parents and a girl graduating from college.


SHAPIRO: Housing is one reason Republicans feel good about their chances in Nevada. The foreclosure crisis hit the state hard, and stories like this one from Joe Lovin are easy to find.

JOE LOVIN: My stepson, he's in Las Vegas. He's been hurting for several years now. In fact, my wife gave up a house in Las Vegas because it was underwater. He couldn't afford it. He had to walk away from it. So that's probably too common a story.

SHAPIRO: Romney said if this president knew how to fix the problem, he would have done it by now.


SHAPIRO: Democrats are trying to remind voters that Romney said the answer is to let the housing market hit bottom. That position does not faze Romney supporter Betty Hennig.

BETTY HENNIG: I think that's just bunk. I think that if people had jobs - and I think Romney can get us jobs, and I think that's what's important. We won't lose houses if people have jobs. They can pay their mortgages.

SHAPIRO: Unemployment and personal bankruptcies in Nevada are way up, too. Democrats point out that the state already has some of the lowest taxes and regulations in the country. They say if Republican policies worked, Nevada would be booming. But Republicans think the state's tough situation gives Romney an opening. He insists he can bring the economy back where the president has not.


SHAPIRO: Both candidates are emphasizing early voting, here and across the country, to bank as many votes as they can before Election Day.


SHAPIRO: In this tight election, even Nevada's six electoral votes could make a difference. The next place Romney visited has six electoral votes, too, and, like Nevada, it could have a large impact despite its small size.


SHAPIRO: In Iowa, Romney's plane with the big R on the tail pulled right up to a massive airplane hangar. When he stepped up to the podium inside, he once again tried to make this race personal.


SHAPIRO: Romney's also striking a more confident note in his stump speeches. He told this cheering crowd: We are going to win. Then he returned to his plane for a flight to Ohio, having spent a total of 80 minutes on the ground in Iowa. Ari Shapiro, NPR News, traveling with the Romney campaign.


INSKEEP: Endless numbers of people talk about the presidential campaign. Your public radio station does something distinctive: It gives you a chance to listen. This is where you hear the candidates, hear the voters, hear people think. We're glad you're with us on MORNING EDITION this morning, and remember that you can follow us throughout the day on social media. We're on Facebook. You can also find us on Twitter. Among other places, we're @MorningEdition and @NPRInskeep.


INSKEEP: You're listening to MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Ari Shapiro has been one of the hosts of All Things Considered, NPR's award-winning afternoon newsmagazine, since 2015. During his first two years on the program, listenership to All Things Considered grew at an unprecedented rate, with more people tuning in during a typical quarter-hour than any other program on the radio.
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