The Note's Must-Reads for Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Note's Must-Reads are a round-up of today's political headlines and stories from ABC News and the top U.S. newspapers. Posted Monday through Friday right here at

Compiled by ABC News' Jayce Henderson, Amanda VanAllen and Carrie Halperin

MITT ROMNEY ABC News' Michael Falcone: " Mitt Romney: 'Pleased With Some Polls, Less So With Other Polls'" On the same day that polls in two key battleground states - Ohio and Florida - showed President Obama growing his lead over Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential candidate acknowledged that he is "pleased with some polls, less so with other polls." "Frankly at this early stage, polls go up, polls go down," Romney said in an interview on Wednesday with ABC's David Muir on the campaign trail in Toledo, Ohio. LINK The New York Times' Ashley Parker: " Romney Ad Reaches Out to Working Class" Mitt Romney stepped up his efforts to repair the damage from his "47 percent" comments, releasing a new television ad on Wednesday in which he speaks directly to the camera about his compassion and tries to reassure voters that he cares about the poor and middle class. LINK

The Los Angeles Times' Seema Mehta: " Romney cites his healthcare law as proof of his compassion" Mitt Romney, while campaigning in Ohio on Wednesday, highlighted the healthcare law that he passed while governor of Massachusetts as proof of his empathy for people. "I think throughout this campaign as well, we talked about my record in Massachusetts, don't forget - I got everybody in my state insured," Romney told NBC News in an interview before he headlined a rally here. LINK

PAUL RYAN Politico's David Rogers: " Without Ryan Medicare ax, GOP budget still in red" In a little-noticed but vital change last spring, the House Budget Committee chairman cut half a point from the annual growth rate he had allowed for Medicare spending. It gave him the extra margin needed to pay for tax cuts and still placate the right by getting to balance in 2040. But it meant breaking with Ryan's fellow Medicare reformer, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), and raised this question that echoes now in the presidential campaign: Did Ryan cut corners with seniors to pay for tax cuts just as he accuses President Barack Obama of doing to finance health care reform? LINK

OBAMA VS. ROMNEY The Washington Post's Scott Wilson: " Obama, Romney differ on U.S. exceptionalism" President Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney made clear this week that they share an overriding belief: American political and economic values should triumph in the world. Where the two differ most is in how a debt-burdened United States, weary after more than a decade of war, should engage other nations to pursue that goal. LINK

The Hills' Justin Sink: " Romney brings in famous friends as Obama leads in crucial Ohio" Mitt Romney and President Obama crisscrossed Ohio on Wednesday as the GOP nominee brought in some celebrity friends to boost his bid and the president sought to solidify his double-digit lead in the battleground state. The candidates held a total of five public events throughout the day, trading barbs on trade with China and detailing their plans to reduce the unemployment rate in the traditionally blue-collar state. LINK

Bloomberg's Julianna Goldman and Julie Hirschfeld Davis: " Obama Works Virginia Base Voters as Romney Pushes Turnout" Stella Okeke might have been a lost vote for Barack Obama. The Nigeria-born nurse supported the president in 2008 and wanted to vote for him again. Yet it took a conversation with an Obama campaign worker on the doorstep of her Woodbridge, Virginia townhome on Sept. 22 to inform Okeke, 36, that she was still registered and needed merely to show up on Election Day to cast her ballot. LINK

The Washington Times' Seth McLaughlin: " Romney, Obama locked in a duel for Ohio's working-class voters" Scrambling to regain his footing in the Buckeye State, Mitt Romney enlisted the help Wednesday of a golf legend and a television star with the sort of blue-collar credentials that could resonate with the state's working-class voters. President Obama, meanwhile, made his own Ohio pitch to college crowds at Bowling Green and Kent State. The dueling visits spoke volumes about the critical role that Ohio - a state where manufacturing jobs in the automobile industry and other sectors have been lost in recent years as companies have shifted operations overseas - is expected to play in the coming presidential election. LINK

VOTING USA Today's Gregory Korte: " In early voting, campaigns target unlikely voters" Early voters tend to be educated, informed and motivated voters - the kind of people who would probably find a way to vote no matter what. So the major presidential campaigns will spend the next month looking for exactly the opposite - unlikely voters - to get to the polls before Election Day. LINK

SWING STATES The Washington Times' Colleen McCain Nelson, Carol E. Lee, and Sara Murray: " Electoral Drama Shifts to Ohio" Both presidential campaigns rolled into this crucial swing state Wednesday with new urgency, as Mitt Romney fought for a jolt of momentum and President Barack Obama looked to solidify his standing after inching further ahead in polls in the state. Mr. Obama tailored his message to issues that resonate locally, highlighting recent trade complaints against China and the auto bailout LINK

ABC News Video " Polls Show Romney Behind Obama in Battleground States" LINK

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