|KEN THOMAS and CALVIN WOODWARD, Associated Press|
"We're worse off," declared
Obama, for his part, sought to highlight the economic gains of the past four years by visiting with
Then he struck up a chant: "
Democratic supporters went into overdrive to put a glossy sheen on economic progress after offering a more muddled message over the weekend about whether Americans are better off under Obama.
Democrats have plenty of convincing to do.
In the most recent Associated Press-GfK poll, 28 percent said they were better off than four years ago, while 36 percent said they were worse off and 36 percent said they were in about the same financial position.
While the official convention program doesn't start until Tuesday, delegations were gathering across
At a breakfast with the
Villaraigosa told the Iowans that he spent 25 years as a community organizer and urged them to register new voters and recruit volunteers to help re-elect Obama.
"We've got our work cut out for us. We know that," he said. "The country is evenly divided. It has been for a long time. So what are we going to do? This is going to be a working convention. Every one of you can sign up as a volunteer. In fact, I know you're already going to volunteer."
"What they're counting on is that you get so discouraged by this, that at a certain point you just say, you know what, I'm going to leave it up to somebody else." Obama did not mention his own side's arsenal of negative advertising.
The Republican convention behind him, Romney was staying low for a few days, preparing for the October debates as Democratic conventioneers gathered for the opening of their event Tuesday.
Younger voters gave Obama a big boost four years ago and he can ill afford to see their support drop off in a tight election where the sluggish economy is the dominant issue in the nation and a specific drag to many young people coming out of college or trying to afford it.
But his campaign surely has a more immediate need for young people, too _ helping to fill the seats for Obama's address Thursday. With 6,000 delegates at the convention and thousands more attached to the event, Democrats hope to pack a nearly 74,000-seat outdoor stadium for the prime-time speech.
Obama deputy campaign manager
"If you believe in weather gods, you should pray to them," she said.
Keeping a strong focus on the economy, a new Obama campaign ad running in six closely contested states _
Biden joined the fray, accusing Republicans of seeking to undermine the decades-old federal program millions of seniors rely on for health care. "We are for
Romney spent Sunday at his
Obama aides said they expected Romney and Republicans to outpace the president and his party in fundraising in August because Obama spent less time raising cash than in the month before, and because the
Woodward reported from
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