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Candidates Seek Foreign Policy Edge in 3rd Debate

Barack Obama and Mitt Romney
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BOCA RATON, Fla. (AP) – The polls show the race to be a tie as President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney meet face-to-face for their final debate Monday night. And, as Obama deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter says, “it really now comes down to that small segment of undecided voters.”

She told NBC’s “Today” show, “The ground game is incredibly important at this point.” But she added, “We feel pretty good about where we are.”

Monday night’s debate will focus on foreign policy — and the issue of Iran’s nuclear program is certain to be addressed. Romney campaign foreign policy adviser Dan Senor told NBC today that Romney’s approach to Iran is that “we’ve got to reach a diplomatic solution.” He said the Obama administration’s policy on Iran for the past four years hasn’t discouraged Tehran from moving forward with its nuclear ambitions.

Republicans over the weekend accused Obama of leaking word of possible negotiations with Iran for political gain.

Throughout the campaign, foreign policy has been an Obama strength — but some recent polls show his advantage narrowing. A Pew Research Center poll last month found that 47 percent of those surveyed favored Obama to make “wise decisions about foreign policy,” while 43 percent preferred Romney.

Meanwhile, President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are engaged in an all-out effort to court women in the campaign’s closing weeks, knowing that women could help determine the winner in a series of toss-up states.

Women have emerged as the pivotal voting bloc in the aftermath of the second presidential debate, where Obama and Romney sparred over contraceptives and pay inequality.

Romney spoke about reviewing “binders full of women” as governor when he sought to diversify his Massachusetts administration.

Some national polls suggest Obama’s longstanding edge with female voters is narrowing, prompting both sides to heavily pursue women voters.

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Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. Material may not be redistributed.

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