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TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — To the last minute, Florida is proving to be an expensive and frustrating state for President Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney alike, seemingly resistant to arguments that play well in Ohio, Colorado and other states. For all the talk of Florida leaning Republican, both nominees are making stops here in the campaign's final 40 hours, a testament to its uncertainty. Their campaigns and allies have poured $130 million into Florida TV ads.
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Those on both sides of the marriage amendment ballot question in Minnesota are pushing for votes with Election Day right around the corner. After a long, costly campaign, Minnesotans will finally vote Tuesday on whether the state constitution should be amended to prohibit same-sex couples from legally marrying.
It's a staple of every presidential election, a single question that puts the incumbent's record on trial and asks American voters to be the jurors. "Are you better off than you were four years ago?" Ronald Reagan asked in 1980 at the end of a televised debate. The answer was his landslide win. Since then, the question has become a cudgel for political challengers, a survey question for pollsters and a barometer for the mood of the country.
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — This is the weekend that hundreds of thousands of Minnesotans wait for all year long -- the opening of the firearms deer season. Minnesota has nearly 500,000 deer hunters and a large portion of them will be spending Saturday and Sunday in tree stands, hoping to bag a trophy buck. The Department of Natural Resources expects a good hunt, though the regulations have been adjusted to reduce the harvest this year as the agency seeks to rebuild or maintain the deer herd in certain portions of the state. Last year's harvest was 192,300 deer.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Firefighters who were fighting a residential fire in Minneapolis have found the body of a dead man. Firefighters responded to the fire Friday about 8:15 p.m. They entered the home and found the man dead inside. Police said Saturday it wasn't immediately clear how he died. They say the department's homicide unit is investigating. Authorities ask that anyone with information call the tips hotline at 612-692-8477. Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.
LITTLE FALLS, Minn. (AP) — A Hillman man whose home was facing foreclosure has been convicted of setting the house on fire in 2010 for the insurance money. Jurors deliberated for four hours this week before finding 53-year-old Randy Donald Reed guilty of first-degree arson. A Brainerd Dispatch report says he's scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 9. Prosecutors say a fire marshal concluded that the cause of the fire was a butane torch. The investigator told authorities it appeared the torch was used to ignite gasoline at four different spots in the basement.
NEW YORK (AP) — More New Yorkers awoke Saturday to power being restored for the first time since Superstorm Sandy pummeled the region, but patience was wearing thin among those who have been without power for most of the week. A widespread lack of gasoline added to the frustrations, from storm-scarred New Jersey, where rationing went into effect in the north, to parts of Connecticut.
MENTOR, Ohio (AP) — Reaching for the finish line, Republican Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama embarked Saturday on the final 72-hour haul of their long, grinding quest for victory, swatting at one another over what should motivate Americans to vote, which candidate they can trust and offering dueling pictures of what the next four years should bring. Romney opened a three-state campaign day in New Hampshire by faulting Obama for telling supporters a day earlier that voting would be their "best revenge."
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota is getting a fresh burst of attention in the presidential race after months of being taken for granted as a Democratic lock. Partisans on both sides are escalating efforts to turn out voters, making hundreds of thousands of calls and leaving glossy reminders of their candidates on doorknobs. Republican nominee Mitt Romney and Democratic President Barack Obama are both sending top surrogates — Romney running mate Paul Ryan and former President Bill Clinton — to the state this weekend.
NEW YORK (AP) — New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg says New York City Marathon has been canceled. His statement Friday came after mounting criticism that this was not the time for a race. With people in storm-ravaged areas still shivering without electricity and the death toll in New York City at more than 40, many New Yorkers recoiled at the prospect of police officers being assigned to protect a marathon on Sunday. Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.