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Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney walks offstage amid waving American flags during a campaign event at Metropolitan Park, Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Rick Wilson)
News roundup: Hatch: Romney 'only real chance' Mormons have at White House

Obama, Romney tied nationally. Little girl cries over presidential race. Just 5 days until Election Day.

Happy Thursday. President Barack Obama and challenger Mitt Romney are neck-and-neck with less than a week before Election Day. [Reuters] And the winner of it all will be the lucky recipient of (drum roll, please) a deeply polarized country facing big problems. [USAToday]

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-> Romney refrains from taking direct shots at Obama as he resumes campaigning on Wednesday in Tampa, Fla., a move that reflects the touchy situation after the deadly superstorm hit the northeast. [LATimes] [BuzzFeed]

-> Obama and Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie found common ground in assessing Hurricane Sandy's wrath in the storm-torn state. Despite his role as a Romney surrogate, Christie was quick to claim bipartisanism and praise the president's crisis handling. [NYTimes] [LATimes] [BuzzFeed]

Topping the news: Sen. Orrin Hatch says Romney may be Mormons "only real chance" to have on of their kind in the White House. [LDSMag]

-> The "Romney tsunami" in Utah paired with redistricting is making Utah Democrats into an endangered species, Bryan Schott writes for City Weekly. [CityWeekly]

-> Under one formula, Love is to the right of most Republican congressional candidates/ [UtahDataPoints]

-> The Republican Governors Association paid $42,500 to fly Christie to Utah to speak at Gov. Gary Herbert's big gala recently. [DNews]

Tweets of the day: From @BuzzFeedAndrew: "Biden calls the Cleveland Plain Dealer one of the major newspapers "in this state." He is in Florida."

From @mckaycoppins: "Crowd at Romney rally in Jacksonville inexplicably chanting "4 more days!" Until Sunday?"

Happy birthday: To Peter Urban and Jenny Wilson.

In other news: Democratic Salt Lake County mayoral candidate Ben McAdams is spending over $140,000 on TV ads within the race's final week while Republican candidate Mark Crockett is avoiding the airwaves altogether. [DNews]

-> Utah County Republicans hold a $900,000 fund-raising advantage over their Democratic counterparts. [Herald]

-> Mia Love and Rep. Jim Matheson turn to retail politics amidst a plethora of nasty TV ads in the hotly-contested 4th District race. [Trib]

-> Also on the ballot this year in Salt Lake County: A parks and trails bond that would cost the average homeowner $6 more a year. [Trib]

-> The Trib's own Robert Gehrke further discusses the outrageous Matheson memo that turned out to be fake. [Trib]

-> Herbert outlines his agenda should he win re-election. [Trib]

-> Joe Andrade, an independent running for Utah's 2nd Congressional District, fights the uphill fight: being noticed as a third-party candidate. [Trib]

The race for 270: The latest Electoral College predictions:

FiveThirtyEight: Obama 300.4, Romney 237.6.

Pollster: Obama 277, Romney 206.

RealClearPolitics: Obama 290, Romney 248.

2012 watch: The presidential campaigns make a desperate last push for voters in Virginia. [WaPost] According to a Washington Post poll, both campaigns have contacted over 40 percent of the state's voters. [WaPost]

-> ABC News' political director Amy Walter runs through the reasons why the Romney camp may be trying to expand their electoral map to include Minnesota, Pennsylvania and Michigan. [ABCNews]

-> Vice President Joe Biden alludes to a 2016 presidential run. [CNN]

-> The Ohio Poll released figures giving Obama a 48-46 lead over Romney in the Buckeye state. [IPResearch]

-> On Romney momentum, Obama campaign manager Jim Messina said: "We have the math; they have the myth." [WSJournal]

-> Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein was arrested for attempting to resupply Keystone XL protesters in Texas. [WaPost]

-> CNN polling credits Obama with a 51-43 percent lead over Romney in Wisconsin. [CNN]

-> Anti-Obama text messages traced to GOP activist in Virginia. [Politico]

-> Biden again has an awkward exchange with a voter while on the campaign trail. [BuzzFeed]

-> Romney faced the brunt of twice as many late-night TV jokes as Obama, perhaps explaining why the Republican candidate may not be taking to the talk-show circuit like his rival. [Politico] [WaPost]

-> The presidential campaign has now made a little girl cry: "I'm tired of Bronco Bamma and Mitt Romney." [NPR]

Where are they?

  • Utah Governor Gary Herbert heads to the Uintah Basin Oil Refinery in Vernal for a safety meeting.
  • AG Mark Shurtleff attends a Health & Education Division meeting and calls into the Child Rescue's Backyard Broadcast show.
  • SL Co. Mayor Peter Corroon hits the monthly Board of Health meeting and then heads to the Jordan River Trail-Park bond event.
  • SLC Mayor Ralph Becker hosts a lunch with community education leaders, hits up a Salt Lake County Regional Park and Trails press event and then heads to the retirement reception for Frank Gray, Community and Economic Development Director.
  • WVC Mayor Mike Winder meets with the Joint Policy Advisory Committee at UTA before attending the Salt Lake Council of Governments meeting.
  • President Barack Obama speaks at the Austin Straubel International Airport in Green Bay, Wisc., at the Cheyenne Sports Complex in Las Vegas, Nev., and lastly at the Coors Events Center in Denver, Colo.

Got a tip? A birthday, wedding or anniversary to announce? Email us at cornflakes@sltrib.com. If you haven't already, sign up for our weekday email and get this sent directly to your inbox. [Trib]

-- Thomas Burr and Betsy Blanchard

Twitter.com/thomaswburr and Twitter.com/betsyblanchard



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