The Note's Must-Reads for Monday, November 5, 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 and Amanda VanAllen

PRESIDENT OBAMA: ABC News' Gary Langer: " Leadership Ratings Help Obama; 50 Percent Approval, Not So Much" Barack Obama has maintained a sizable advantage over Mitt Romney in trust to handle a major crisis and regained his lead in being seen as the stronger leader, wielding the benefits of incumbency to stay competitive, economic discontent aside, in the razor-close 2012 election. Obama also has managed essentially an even split with Romney in views of which candidate has better ideas on the size and role of government - another case, as with the economy, on which Romney has been unable to capitalize fully on a vulnerability of the president's. LINK

The New York Daily News' Kristen Lee: " President Obama gets by with a little help from his friends - Clinton, Pitbull, Stevie Wonder and Dave Matthews" They stood for hours on a cold November morning, wrapped in scarves and hats, for a chance to see not one President, but two. Bill Clinton and President Obama formed a political tag team Sunday - drawing a massive crowd of 14,000 people outside the gold-domed Statehouse here, trying to pump up enthusiasm for the Democratic ticket on Election Day. LINK

USA Today's Aamer Madhani: " Obama's early-voting lead smaller than in 2008" President Obama appears to have built a lead in early and absentee voting ahead of Election Day in several battleground states, but the early-vote cushion over GOP nominee Mitt Romney is not as big as the one he held four years ago over Sen. John McCain. More than 29.5 million Americans have already cast ballots in 34 states and the District of Columbia, according to statistics compiled by the United States Election Project at George Mason University in Virginia. LINK

MITT ROMNEY: The Washington Times' Seth McLaughlin: " Romney pledges 'real change' that will end partisan gridlock" Darting across eight battleground states, Mitt Romney spent the final weekend of the presidential race delivering a muscular critique of the Obama administration and saying he is uniquely qualified to end the partisan gridlock in Washington that threatens to push the country into a double-dip recession. Mr. Romney, urging his flag-waving supporters to "walk with me" toward a "new beginning," said Mr. Obama walked away from the promises he made on the stump four years ago. LINK

FINAL STRETCH: The Hill's Cameron Joseph: " Obama, Romney deliver final pitch, both vow change in Washington" GOP nominee Mitt Romney and President Obama are making a last-minute push in key swing states, with each arguing they're the only one who can fix Washington, D.C. Speaking in New Hampshire on Sunday with former President Bill Clinton, Obama attacked Romney for his recent argument that he'll bring "real change" to Washington. LINK

The Los Angeles Times' David Lauter and David Savage: " Tight presidential race may come down to knocking on doors" After billions of dollars spent, more than a million advertisements aired and hundreds of thousands of new voters registered in key states, this is how close elections are won: volunteers amped up on too much coffee and too little sleep, trudging from door to door, desperately seeking one last voter. For the third time in four elections, the margin between the winner and loser in a presidential campaign seems on track to be less than 2.5 percentage points. LINK

The Wall Street Journal's Neil King Jr. and Laura Mckler: " Obama and Romney Deadlocked, Polls Show" President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney crisscrossed the country Sunday to energize supporters in key states, as new polls forecast a down-to-the-wire election and both sides claimed they had the momentum to win. The Romney camp, combing through surveys taken in the waning days of the campaign, pointed to strength among independent voters, anxiety over the economy and greater enthusiasm among conservatives as signs that the Republican would win, potentially with victories in states such as Pennsylvania and Minnesota that a GOP presidential candidate hasn't carried for decades. LINK

The Washington Post's Felicia Sonmez, David Nakamura and David A. Fahrenthold: " Obama and Romney begin final push with only hours until Election Day" And now it is closing time. On Monday, in the final hours of their 17-month, nearly $3 billion marathon, the two candidates and their running mates are scheduled to hold 14 events across eight states. For Republican challenger Mitt Romney, this last full day of campaigning is aimed at achieving what he has seemingly been unable to do over the first 522 days: overcome President Obama's razor-thin but steady leads in the states where the election will be decided. LINK

Politico's Kevin Cirilli, Reid J. Epstein and James Hohman: " Barack Obama, Mitt Romney play for Ohio, Pennsylvania" Mitt Romney made a last-ditch play for Pennsylvania on Sunday night in a bid for an upset win in a state where Democrats hold a significant registration advantage, while President Barack Obama pleaded for support in swing state Ohio, where his vice president had spent the day campaigning. It was a day marked by frenetic campaigning in four states by each of the presidential hopefuls, big crowds, sharpened attacks - and the sight of Romney's plane and Joe Biden's Air Force 2 parked close to each other at the Cleveland airport. LINK

The Boston Globe's Brian MacQuarrie and Callum Borchers: " Obama, Romney exhort crowds in dashes to vital states" The presidential candidates on Sunday turned their marathon campaign into a mad sprint to Election Day, from a chilled rally for President Obama in the shadow of the New Hampshire State House to an appeal by Republican challenger Mitt Romney for votes at a farm in Morrisville, Pa. LINK

LEGAL CHALLENGES: The New York Times' Mark Lander and Michael D. Shear: " As Candidates Make Final Pleas, Legal Battles Begin" President Obama and Mitt Romney hunted for last-minute support on Sunday in a frenetic sprint across battleground states, even as their parties faced off in the first of what could be a growing number of legal disputes over presidential ballots and how they are counted. In Florida, the state's Democratic Party filed a lawsuit on Sunday morning that would force the Republican-led government to extend early voting in South Florida after complaints that extremely long lines on Saturday had prevented some people from casting their ballots. LINK

Bloomberg's Chris Dolmetsch, Margaret Cronin Fisk and Emily Grannis: " Election Suits Start Early With Florida, Ohio Challenges"Florida Democrats sought to extend early voting hours after the state's Republican governor rejected a request to do so while voter advocates in Ohio sought clarification on the counting of provisional ballots following an order by Republican officials there. The Florida lawsuit was filed because of Governor Rick Scott's "refusal to follow precedent and extend early voting hours in the face of unprecedented voter turnout in South Florida," Rod Smith, chairman of the Florida Democratic Party, said yesterday in a statement posted on its website. The filing couldn't be confirmed in records in federal court in Miami. LINK

ABC NEWS VIDEO: " Biden, Crowd Get Testy Over Low Audio Levels" LINK

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