For Romney, Obama, 1 last jobs report fuels race

CREATED Nov. 2, 2012

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- In the final throes of a spirited campaign, President Barack Obama and rival Mitt Romney are awaiting one more measure of the nation's economic pulse -- a monthly jobs report that will leave an imprint on the last four frenetic days of the presidential contest.

The Labor Department will announce new hiring numbers and the October unemployment rate Friday morning, a fitting end to a nail-biting political match dominated by the economy.

That data fresh in hand, both candidates are plunging into a hectic pace of campaigning Friday, with Obama eager to fend off Romney in the key battleground of Ohio even as Romney pushes to expand the contest to other states, most notably Pennsylvania, to secure the 270 electoral votes needed to win.