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Campaigns launch end game with contrasting TV ads

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DENVER — Following the third and final presidential debate Monday night, both presidential campaigns and the Super PACs supporting them are releasing a spate of new television ads Tuesday that are notable for their markedly different messages and the states where they’re being aired.

The main Super PAC supporting Romney, “Restore Our Future”, is launching a new $17.7 million ad buy in 10 states including North Carolina, a state many analysts are already ceding to Romney, and Michigan, a state that Obama is expected to carry easily but that could offer Romney additional paths to 270 electoral votes if Republicans are somehow able to put it in play.

The group’s ad, “Better”, which is also airing in Colorado, tells voters that they don’t have to accept “the new normal” of crushing debt and high unemployment.

“We never go forward by settling for the status quo,” a narrator says in the ad. “We need to make a change.”

With exactly two weeks left in this incredibly close race for the White House, both campaigns are plotting the end game, where to focus their efforts, both on the air and on the ground.

The Romney campaign has a new television ad out Tuesday morning that features Romney during Monday’s debate casting Obama’s tour of Arab countries as an “apology tour” and hitting the president for never visiting Israel as president.

Obama’s campaign, meanwhile, is out with a new minute-long spot featuring the president speaking straight into the camera about his vision for the future.

The four points Obama mentions aren’t new, but the text on screen is accompanied by the image of a blue booklet, an actual 20-page brief, “A Plan for Jobs and Middle Class Security”, released Tuesday that summarizes the president’s plan for a second term.

“Read my plan. Compare it to Gov. Romney’s and decide which is better for you,” Obama says as the ad concludes.

“It’s an honor to be your president and I’m asking for your vote so together we can keep moving American forward.”

On a conference call with reporters Tuesday morning, Obama’s campaign manager, Jim Messina, said that the campaign is winning early voting in battleground states.

“We are tied or ahead in every battleground state and we’re not leaving anywhere that we’re tied or ahead,” Messina said. “In Ohio, early voter turnout is higher in counties that voted for Obama in 2008 than in counties that voted Republican.”

The candidates themselves are also about to hit the campaign trail hard, focusing on the seven or eight states they believe will decide the outcome of the election: Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin.

Romney and running-mate Paul Ryan will take the stage at Red Rocks Amphitheater Tuesday night for a rally at 7 p.m.

On Wednesday afternoon, Obama will rally supporters in Denver’s City Park as part of a whirlwind post-debate tour that’ll take the president to six states in two days.