DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Five weeks to Election Day, President Barack Obama seems within reach of the 270 electoral votes needed to win a second term.
If the election were held today, an Associated Press analysis shows Obama would win at least 271 electoral votes, with Ohio and Iowa now among the states he would carry.
To overtake Obama, Mitt Romney would need to quickly gain the upper hand in nearly all of the nine states where he and Obama are competing hardest.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is conceding it's been a "tough couple of weeks" for Mitt Romney. Christie tells 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 President Barack Obama on Wednesday night. Christie says 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 tells "Fox News Sunday" that the race is close and he doesn't think one event "is going to make or break" the campaign. Ryan calls President Barack Obama "a very gifted speaker" who's been on the national stage for several years, and notes that Romney has never participated in a one-on-one presidential debate.