Mitt Romney has surged ahead in the latest poll from the Pew Research Center. The poll shows 49 percent of likely voters supporting Romney nationwide, with 45 percent backing President Barack Obama. But Gallup tracking polls during the past week have the president leading 50 to 45 percent.
With signs that Romney is cutting into his lead in some key battleground states, the president is making a cross-country swing for cash and voter support, which includes his trip to California.
Romney meanwhile is trying to keep momentum on his side by bolstering his foreign policy credentials and rallying voters in Virginia.
Re-energized by last week's presidential debate, Romney addressed hundreds of supporters in Virginia who waited in the pouring rain to hear the governor speak.
Earlier Romney went after Obama's foreign policy record. He told an audience at the Virginia Military Institute that Obama's leadership has been lacking in the Middle East, where, he says, the risk of conflict has increased.
But the Obama campaign was ready with their own attack, unveiling an advertisement before Romney's speech describing what it calls Romney's "gaffe-filled" summer trip abroad.
Obama meanwhile was on day two of his swing through California, touching down in the Bay Area Monday afternoon to make a last dash for campaign cash.
Earlier Monday Obama declared a national monument at the home of labor leader Cesar Chavez. And Sunday night the president spoke to thousands of supporters at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles, taking the stage after performances by Katy Perry, Jon Bon Jovi and Stevie Wonder, and for the first time he needled himself over a poor debate performance.
The vice-presidential debate is Thursday night between Joe Biden and candidate Paul Ryan in Danville, Kentucky. Both campaigns are preparing their running mates and trying to keep expectations low. The one and only V.P. debate will focus on domestic and foreign policy issues. ABC News Chief Foreign Correspondent Martha Raddatz will serve as moderator.
Romney and Obama debate again Oct. 16 in a town hall-style format at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y., and their final faceoff, on foreign affairs, is Oct. 22 at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla. Vice President Joe Biden and GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan have their lone debate on Oct. 11 in Danville, Ky.