BOCA RATON, Fla. - With the third and final presidential debate behind them, President Obama and Republican Mitt Romney on Tuesday headed immediately to the battleground states whose voters will decide what is now a statistically tied race.
And even before Obama appeared in Florida and Ohio and Romney jetted to Nevada, both campaigns were out with new television ads Tuesday that begin to make their closing arguments to voters.
In his latest ad, Obama talks directly to voters about the progress he's made in his first term, from rising home prices to winding down of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"We're not there yet, but we've made real progress and the last thing we should do is turn back now," Obama says.
Obama's campaign also released a 20-page book, "Blueprint for America's Future," outlining his agenda for a second term. The book, to be distributed at his campaign offices and rallies and mailed to some voters, is a repackaging of earlier proposals to reduce oil imports, grow the manufacturing sector and raise taxes on the wealthiest taxpayers.
Romney put out a new ad of his own Tuesday, pulling a clip from the previous night's debate in which Romney is shown criticizing Obama for taking an "apology tour" of Europe and the Middle East during which he said the president belittled the United States.
Both candidates went on the offensive immediately after wrapping up their final debate even as snap polls showed that most voters credited Obama with winning the debate even though they also believed Romney came across as a credible commander in chief.
The debate had barely concluded here in Boca Raton when officials from both campaigns started looking ahead to the campaign's final 14 days.
Romney will continue to promote his economic plan while hammering Obama for failing in his first term to resuscitate it.
"We are going to go out and talk about the future and what we are going to get in a Romney presidency and contrast that with what it will be if we continue with the status quo," said Stuart Stevens, a top Romney adviser.
Obama adviser Robert Gibbs acknowledged the tightening of the race, particularly in battleground states, but remained optimistic that Obama would pull it out.
"I would rather be up where we are than where they are," Gibbs said.
Jen Psaki, an Obama spokeswoman, told reporters aboard Air Force One that the campaign is now focused on mobilizing its supporters and getting its voters to the polls.
"We know that some people are still making decisions," Psaki said. "And we just feel this is a pivotal time to engage our grass-roots supporters across the country, make sure they have the tools they need to do what the president does on his stump every day."
University of Virginia political science professor Larry Sabato said both candidates will be making all-out efforts right up to Election Day.
"Normally, with two weeks to go, the campaigns go on a kind of autopilot," Sabato said. "Most of the real work is invisible -- voter contact, get-out-the-vote, and Election Day preparations. The candidates are deployed strategically to the handful of remaining tossup states. But this one is so close that the pace is going to be frenetic, even more so than usual."