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Trail Mix: Big Bird says Obama ad won't fly

  • Kid Rock considers a keg party for VP debate
  • Polls tighten after Obama, Romney sparred in Denver
Trail Mix: Big Bird says Obama ad won't fly

Want to know what's popping in campaign news? Meet our column "Trail Mix" -- your guide to the fun, the quirky, and, oh yeah, the news from the 2012 campaign.

New Obama videos feature NBA, NFL stars –- and Big Bird

President Obama’s campaign has hit the Web with a series of new videos that star everyone from Alonso Mourning to Big Bird.

Mourning’s video is one of three clips from sports stars endorsing the president. “I believe America is the greatest country in the world, and I am voting for President Obama,” he says looking directly into the camera. He’s joined by fellow NBA players Dahntay Jones and Etan Thomas, among others.

NFL players Matt Forte, Maurice Jones-Drew and Antoine Bethea star in a similar video, while Victor Cruz speaks directly to Latinos to encourage them to support Obama.

Meanwhile, Big Bird stars in a super-sarcastic ad from the Obama campaign that features Romney’s debate statement about cutting funding for PBS. It takes on Romney’s regulation of banks with the line, “Mitt Romney knows it’s not Wall Street you have to worry about, it’s Sesame Street,” while a menacing voice says that everyone’s favorite giant fowl is “big, yellow, a menace to our economy.”

The ad came under fire from both PBS -- who requested it be taken down since the network is nonpartisan -- and from Romney, who said that the president should spend more time talking about saving jobs than saving Big Bird.

Kid Rock rallies with Ryan and considers keg party

Paul Ryan picked up an endorsement from Kid Rock at a rally in Michigan. Rock introduced Ryan as a “fellow hunter, a fellow fan of rock and roll, and a great Midwesterner.”

Rock acknowledged that his endorsement might alienate some of his fans, but also said, “I really believe strongly that it’s OK to disagree on politics and the direction of our country without hating one another.” He added, “I also want to be real clear that I am very proud to say that we had elected our first black president. I’m sorry, I’m sorry he didn’t do a better job. I really wish he would have -- I do.”

Rock said he enjoyed the Romney-Obama debate so much that he’s considering a keg party for Thursday’s Ryan-Biden debate.

Poll position

The fallout from Obama’s lackluster debate performance last week continues in the latest polls.

Nationally, a Pew Research Center poll shows Romney now leading Obama among likely voters (49% to 45%). That’s a big change from September, when he trailed Obama by eight points. Steadfast Obama supporter Andrew Sullivan pushed the panic button in a Daily Beast column, writing that the poll results showing a 12-point swing were “devastating, just devastating” and that he’s “never seen a candidate self-destruct for no external reason this late in a campaign before.”

CNN’s “poll of polls,” averaging three nationwide surveys -- including the Pew poll -- also shows Romney ahead, but by only one point (48% to Obama’s 47%).

In the nearly must-win battleground state of Ohio, Tuesday’s CNN/ORC poll shows Obama still leading 51% to 47% among likely voters -- but the gap is significantly smaller than the seven to 10 points common in polls before the debate. Polls released Tuesday in the swing states of Pennsylvania and New Hampshire also showed the race getting tighter there.

Must Reads:

CNN: Romney knew one of the former SEALs killed in Libya

The Washington Post: Big stakes in the VP Debate

ABC: Ann Romney's popularity surges

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