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Romney and Obama compete for rural voters' support
Romney and Obama turn to nostalgic pitches to court rural voters in America's small towns
By The Associated Press

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) ' Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama are trying to connect with rural voters, each out to convince those voters that only he can jump-start the economy.

Both campaigns expect Romney to win the majority of rural voters. But Obama's team is trying to keep the margin as narrow as it was in 2008, when he lost rural voters by just 8 percentage points to John McCain.

In turn, Romney's team is looking to run up the score, perhaps as high as the 19 percentage point advantage that George W. Bush enjoyed among rural voters in his 2004 re-election bid.

That's why Romney is setting out on a bus tour from New Hampshire to Iowa, and Obama is talking about his administration's rural record with local television reporters.

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