DES MOINES, Iowa (September 30, 2012)--Five weeks before Election Day, President Barack Obama seems within reach of the 270 electoral votes needed to win a second term, according to an Associated Press analysis that finds if the election were held today, Mr. Obama would win at least 271 electoral votes, with Ohio and Iowa now among the states he would carry.
To overtake Mr. Obama, Mitt Romney would need to gain the upper hand quickly in nearly all of the nine states where he and Mr. Obama are competing hardest.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was conceding Sunday it's been a "tough couple of weeks" for Mitt Romney.
Christie told CBS' "Face the Nation" there's no way to "sugarcoat" the Republican presidential candidate's setbacks, but he's predicting Romney will "shine" in his first debate against the president Wednesday night.
Christie said every time Romney was backed into a corner during the GOP primaries, he "came out with a great debate performance."
But Romney's running mate is playing down the importance of the debate.
Paul Ryan told "Fox News Sunday" that the race is close and he doesn't think one event "is going to make or break" the campaign.
Ryan called President Barack Obama "a very gifted speaker" who's been on the national stage for several years, and noted that Romney has never participated in a one-on-one presidential debate.
Ryan says the race is close and he expects it will stay that way until Election Day on Nov. 6.