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November 6, 2012

THE RACE: Candidates stay busy ahead of vote tally

After many months of grueling campaigning, the waiting stage of the presidential sweepstakes is near as both parties worked furiously to boost turnout and get supporters to the polls.

But learning whether President Barack Obama or challenger Mitt Romney would cross that magic 270 electoral-vote finish line wasn't an easy wait for either side. Both portray the race as tantalizingly close.

An admittedly restless Romney and running mate Rep. Paul Ryan squeezed in some last-minute Election Day campaigning, Obama did interviews and played basketball, Vice President Joe Biden teased about a future political career and Ryan was able to vote for himself— twice.

Romney and Ryan voted in Massachusetts and Wisconsin, respectively, then engaged in some quick campaigning. Both went to Cleveland and Romney was stumping solo in Pittsburgh and Ryan going alone to Richmond, Va.

"I can't imagine an election being won or lost by, let's say, a few hundred votes and you spent your day sitting around," Romney told Richmond radio station WRVA.

Not to be outdone in critical swing-state Ohio, Biden also snuck in a Cleveland stop on his way to Chicago to link up with Obama.

The Obamas, who voted last month, will await returns in Chicago. But the president first did radio and satellite TV interviews, visited a campaign office to call voters and was playing pick-up basketball with friends and staffers.

"No time for naps," said White House senior adviser David Plouffe.

Biden voted in Delaware. Asked by reporters if it was the last time he expected to vote for himself, Biden grinned and said: "No, I don't think so." Biden hasn't said if he will run for president in 2016, but hasn't closed the door either.

Ryan had an opportunity the others didn't. He's also seeking re-election to the House, so his name appeared on the ballot twice.

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