The Note’s Must-Reads for Monday October 22, 2012

Oct 22, 2012 3:08am

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 www.abcnews.com

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

THE FINAL STRETCH

ABC News’ Shushannah Walshe: “Paul Ryan Tells Iowa Rally Victory is ‘Within Our Grasp’” Outside of a Bass Pro Shop on his first campaign swing in western Iowa, Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan told voters victory “is within our grasp.” “We can do this,” Ryan said, on a perfectly sunny day. “We can get this country back on the right track. Let’s look back at this moment as when we did it. We need your help.” LINK

The New York Times’ Trip Gabriel: “Campaign Boils Down to Door-to-Door Voter Drives” In Florida, which wrote the book on battleground states in 2000, “it’s going to be hand-to-hand combat all the way down,” a senior adviser to the Romney campaign, Brett Doster, said over the weekend. When Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. visited Orlando on Saturday, he skipped a public rally in favor of dropping in on a campaign office, where he urged volunteers to canvass their neighborhoods — “the thing that matters the most.” LINK

TONIGHT’S DEBATE
The Boston Globe’s Callum Borchers: “Focus on Iran in presidential debate run-up” The Obama and Romney campaigns jousted over the president’s leadership on Iranian sanctions on Sunday, a day before the candidates focus on foreign policy in their final debate, but both sides were cautious when discussing a reported agreement between the United States and Iran to hold one-on-one talks about nuclear development. The White House has denied that a deal is in place for bilateral negotiations, and the two campaigns appeared unsure whether endorsing the meetings would project diplomacy or naïveté. LINK

The Washington Post’s Anne Gearan and David A. Fahrenthold: “In final debate, Obama and Romney to offer differing views of America’s role in the world” It sounded weeks ago like a mismatch. The final presidential debate would focus on foreign policy — a sitting president who’d overseen the death of Osama bin Laden pitted against a one-term governor, so new to diplomatic thinking that he’d managed to offend a good chunk of Britain during a brief trip this summer. LINK

Politico’s Jim Vandehei and Mike Allen: “Mitt Romney’s toughest debate” Mitt Romney has a clear-eyed and self-aware view of his chances in the final debate Monday, according to top advisers: It will be almost impossible to win, since the debate is focused exclusively on foreign policy, a strength for President Barack Obama. This view isn’t merely about expectations-setting. Romney’s top advisers authentically worry that the swing voters they need to woo care little about foreign affairs right now. LINK

NEWSPAPER ENDORSEMENTS
The Hill’s Jennifer Martinez: “Romney picks up endorsements from Ohio, Fla. Newspapers” Two regional newspapers in key swing states endorsed GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Sunday.   The Tampa Tribune in Florida and The Columbus Dispatch in Ohio both threw their support behind the former Massachusetts governor. LINK

The Los Angeles Times’ Endorsement: “Obama for president” When he was elected president in 2008, Barack Obama was untried and untested. Just four years out of the Illinois state Senate, he had not yet proved himself as either a manager or a leader. He had emerged from relative obscurity as the result of a single convention speech and was voted into office only a few years later on a tidal wave of hope, breezing past several opponents with far more experience and far clearer claims on the job. LINK

POLLING
The New York Daily News’ Glenn Blain: “President Obama, still reeling from his crushing defeat in the first debate, is in a dead heat with Mitt Romney, a new poll has found“ The race for the White House appears to be a dead heat.  An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released Sunday showed President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney tied at 47% with barely two weeks to go before Election Day. LINK

The Washington Times’ Stephan Dinan: “Obama leads in latest poll as Romney loses bounce” Mitt Romney’s first debate bounce has evaporated and President Obama once again has taken a slim lead in The Washington Times/Zogby Poll released Sunday night — though the survey showed Mr. Romney’s backers are far more energized about him than the president’s backers are about their candidate. LINK

The Wall Street Journal’s Neil King Jr.: “Dead Heat for Romney, Obama” Mitt Romney has strengthened his image as the candidate best able to boost the economy and has fought President Barack Obama to a near-draw on who can best serve as commander in chief, helping turn the 2012 election into a tie among likely voters, a new nationwide poll shows. The Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll found Mr. Obama retaining a strong advantage among women voters and Hispanics. He also ranked ahead of Mr. Romney on social issues and personal qualities, with voters seeing him as the more compassionate and likable candidate. LINK

FUNDRAISING
USA Today’s Fredreka Schouten and Christopher Schnaars: “Party fundraising gives Republicans overall money lead” Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, the Republican Party and a constellation of outside GOP groups entered the final campaign stretch with a nearly $46 million cash advantage for the last-minute advertising and get-out-the-vote push in this nail-biter election, a USA TODAY analysis of new campaign reports shows.The candidates and political parties collectively have raised close to $2 billion through the end of September, giving Romney and President Obama ample cash to devote legions of staffers to swing states. Both men and their allies readied a fresh round of advertising over the weekend ahead of Monday’s third and final debate in Boca Raton, Fla. LINK

Bloomberg’s Greg Giroux and Jonathan D. Salant: “Romney’s September Campaign Fundraising Trailed Obama’s” President Barack Obama’s re-election committee again raised more money than Republican nominee Mitt Romney last month, though the challenger and his allies — including super-political action committees — entered October with more combined money to spend. Romney, the Republican National Committee and super-PACs Restore Our Future and American Crossroads began the final full month of the 2012 campaign with $178 million to spend, compared with $111 million for Obama, the Democratic National Committee and the super-PAC Priorities USA Action, according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission. The DNC’s coffer included $10.5 million it borrowed. LINK

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