Despite the fact that the presidential election is days away, the scene on the campaign trail Wednesday was remarkably civil. President Obama ; Mitt Romney
Hope you enjoyed it while it lasted: What has been a remarkable run of storm-related civility is now coming to an end. Mr. Obama is returning to the campaign trail Thursday with stops in Wisconsin, Nevada and Colorado, while Romney holds a trio of campaign events in Virginia. Asked if Romney will sharpen his tone Thursday, the Romney campaign told CBS News that Americans can expect the sort of tone that one would expect "six days before an election" - that is, a nastier one than we've seen in the wake of Sandy. (Or, to put it in campaign speak, you can expect Romney to offer "contrasts" that spotlight "what the president hasn't done.") Mr. Obama also looks to be getting back to his anti-Romney message: A release from his campaign said he plans to "highlight his second-term agenda to grow our economy from the middle out, not the top down."
The last few days are widely seen as 78 percent of Americans viewed Mr. Obama's handling of the storm positively.
In an apparent attempt to reboot its argument that Romney has momentum, the Romney campaign and the outside groups supporting it announced they are words of Pennsylvania politics expert Keegan Gibson, it's worth noting that Sandy has caused headaches in Philadelphia - and .
The divergence in perspectives extended to the campaigns' dueling conference calls on Wednesday. The Obama camp was full of zingers: "We have the math, and they have the myth," said Obama campaign manager Jim Messina, adding: "The Romney campaign is trying to sell illusion and delusion." The Romney camp went with optimism: The Romney campaign has "expanded the map" and kept Obama from competing in Indiana and other states where he was competitive or victorious in 2008. Both campaigns offered up a flood of early voting numbers to argue that their candidate is on the cusp of a clear victory, and pointed to what they said were overwhelming weaknesses in the opposition. (The president, the Romney camp gleefully noted, wasn't breaking 50 percent support in many national or battleground polls; Romney, the Obama camp said, has been reduced to a "Hail Mary" attempt to expand the map because he "hasn't put away a single battleground state.")
Here's the simple truth: The race is tight. National polls are even, and all of the battleground states remain within reach for both candidates. Wednesday's