After the Des Moines rally, Romney was headed to New Jersey to raise more money for his already sizable campaign accounts. On his way to the airport, the former Massachusetts governor stopped to visit a corn field and talk with a farmer about the severe drought gripping much of the nation.
Obama was heading westward to Colorado to make his case to working-class voters and women on Wednesday.
Obama plans to spend three days in Iowa next week, a signal that his advisers see the Midwestern state as fertile soil for his political message, especially his support for wind energy. Wind turbines dot the Iowa horizon and employ thousands of voters. Romney often mocks Obama's support for so-called green energy projects, a position that puts him at odds with Republican leaders in the state.
Obama is launching a two-day, four-city swing through Colorado on Wednesday. His events are expected to focus on the economy, including his call for Congress to extend tax cuts for families making less than $250,000 a year while letting the cuts for higher-income earners expire.
A new Quinnipiac University poll shows Obama and Romney tied among voters in Colorado households earning between $30,000 and $50,000 per year — an important target. Obama leads among voters with lower incomes; Romney is favored by those making more.
Obama planned to emphasize women's health issues at his first event in Denver. The president was to be introduced by Fluke, the Georgetown University student who gained notoriety after conservative talk-show host Rush Limbaugh called her a slut because she supports the Obama health care law's requirement that insurance companies cover contraception.
In an online opinion piece Wednesday, Fluke cited Romney's "dangerous promises" to roll back Obama's health care law. She also noted that Romney hadn't denounced Limbaugh's name-calling.
"If Mr. Romney can't stand up to the extreme voices in his own party, we know he'll never stand up for women and protect the rights that generations of women fought so hard to ensure," Fluke wrote for The Huffington Post.
The president has been running television advertisements in Colorado highlighting his health care overhaul's benefits for women and warning that those benefits could be taken away if Romney wins. On Wednesday the campaign released a video in which actress Elizabeth Banks describes her personal experience with Planned Parenthood and criticizes Romney for promising to eliminate its federal funding.
Both Obama and Romney see women — particularly suburban women from their 30s to their 50s — as crucial to the tight contest in Colorado.
Pace reported from Washington. Associated Press writers Steve Peoples in Chicago, Juliet A. Williams in Sacramento, Calif., and Kasie Hunt and Connie Cass in Washington contributed to this report.
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