CHICAGO - US President Barack Obama won the endorsement of retired General Colin Powell, a moderate Republican, on Thursday as he and Republican rival Mitt Romney engaged in frantic campaigning in battleground states to try to turn a razor-close race their way.
Hoping to encourage other Democrats to vote ahead of the November 6 election, Obama cast his ballot early in his home town of Chicago.
Romney portrayed himself as an agent of change during a day campaigning in Ohio with 12 days to go until the election.
There was little movement in the overall state of the race - which is essentially tied. Romney was clinging to a one percentage point lead over Obama in Thursday's Reuters/Ipsos daily tracking poll, up 47 percent to 46 percent for Obama.