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Donald Trump’s momentum in latest opinion polls forced Hillary Clinton to campaign in states that had been considered safe for the Democrats.

Both teams are now concentrating more on getting their supporters to vote, rather than swaying those undecided.

Thirty-seven million early ballots have already been cast.

Meanwhile, authorities say they are assessing the credibility of information on a possible al-Qaeda terror attack.

New York, Texas and Virginia are believed to be the potential targets mentioned in connection with a possible attack before Election Day on November 8, but a police spokesman said the information “lacks specificity”.

Officials say they regularly assess all possible threats before major events.

Photo CBS News

Photo CBS News

News of a possible attack came as both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump made final pushes for support in battleground states across the US.

They both held rallies in Ohio and Pennsylvania on November 4, two states that may prove crucial on the Election Day.

Both candidates are due to campaign in Florida on November 5. Florida is seen as a key contest that could tip the election.

In Cleveland, Ohio, Hillary Clinton ended the day’s campaigning at a concert, where she was joined by Beyonce and Jay-Z.

“We have unfinished work to do, more barriers to break, and with your help, a glass ceiling to crack once and for all,” Hillary Clinton said.

Addressing the crowd, Jay-Z explained his support for Hillary Clinton. The rapper said that though he did not have any “ill will” towards Donald Trump, the Republican’s conversation was “divisive”.

“That’s not an evolved soul to me, so he cannot be my president. He cannot be our president,” the rapper said.

The free concert was part of a series of events put on by Hilalry Clinton’s campaign as she aims to encourage greater African-American participation in the election.

Donald Trump, meanwhile, told a crowd of supporters in New Hampshire that his rival wants a “550% increase” on Syrian refugees allowed into the US.

“Her plan would mean generations of terrorism, extremism, and radicalism spreading into our schools and communities,” the Republican nominee said.

Earlier, at a rally in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Hillary Clinton said that her opponent was “unfit” for office because of his temperament and disparaging comments about women and minorities.

Donald Trump is currently ahead in Ohio, according to a state polling average by Real Clear Politics (RCP), while Hillary Clinton leads by a small margin in Pennsylvania.

In Florida, RCP’s poll average puts Hillary Clinton ahead, but poll analysis website FiveThirtyEight says Donald Trump has a 52.4% chance of winning the state’s 29 electoral votes.

National polls have suggested that Donald Trump has gained substantial ground on his rival in the last week or so. That momentum also appears to have helped Donald Trump in several key battleground states.

“Whatever” was rated the most annoying word of 2013 by 38% of respondents of a recent survey.

A number of 1,173 Americans have been surveyed in early December by the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion, based in Poughkeepsie, New York.

The new result is up from 32% in 2012, pollsters said.

What’s more, “whatever” has topped the annoying word charts for five straight years.

“The word can be very dismissive and rude,” said Mary Griffith, media director for Marist.

"Whatever" was rated the most annoying word of 2013 by 38 percent of respondents of Marist poll

“Whatever” was rated the most annoying word of 2013 by 38 percent of respondents of Marist poll

“It’s a put-down to some extent and it can signal to the other person that what they are saying is not important.”

Americans also do not like the word “like,” which ranked second in the survey of most annoying words, at 22%. The term “you know” pulled 18%, “just sayin” 14%, and “obviously” 6%. Two percent of respondents were unsure.

Marist began polling on annoying words five years ago. The word choices are provided to the respondents based on Marist research and prior surveys, Mary Griffith said. While most Marist surveys focus on politics, the poll on annoying words is enlightening, she said.

“We like to keep a finger on the pulse of popular culture,” she added.

In the same survey, Marist pollsters wanted to know what political word or phrase Americans would like to see disappear in 2014.

“Obamacare” was mentioned by 41% of respondents as a word they do not want to hear next year.

Americans are also averse to and would like to eliminate the Washington terms “shutdown” and “gridlock,” which got votes from 30% and 11%, respectively.

“Fiscal cliff” got 10% of the vote and “sequestration” 4%. Four percent of respondents were unsure.

President Barack Obama and his Republican rival Mitt Romney have begun a crucial swing through key battleground states that will determine who wins Tuesday’s vote.

Barack Obama campaigns in Ohio, Wisconsin, Iowa and Virginia on Saturday, while Mitt Romney targets New Hampshire, Iowa and Colorado.

Both candidates will visit the Iowa town of Dubuque within hours.

Opinion polls suggest the rivals are almost tied, although Barack Obama is slightly ahead in most swing states.

Barack Obama, addressing crowds of Democratic supporters in Mentor, Ohio, said the election was a choice “about two different visions for America: the top down vision that crashed the economy, or a future built on a strong and growing middle class”.

Republican MItt Romney, opening his three-state campaign day in New Hampshire, said: “Let me tell you what I’d like to tell you: Vote for love of country. It is time we lead America to a better place.”

These frantic last days mark a punishing sprint at the end of a long marathon.

On the eve of the election, the pendulum appears to be moving towards Barack Obama, as the opinion polls are not shifting in Mitt Romney’s favor in enough battleground states.

Barack Obama has arguably had the better of the past week, given Friday’s moderately good news on the employment front and the wide praise of his handling of the aftermath of Storm Sandy. He also won the endorsement of independent New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Barack Obama and Mitt Romney target key swing states as latest polls suggest they are almost tied

Barack Obama and Mitt Romney target key swing states as latest polls suggest they are almost tied

Correspondents say Mitt Romney has the tougher task for victory on Tuesday, as he must win a majority of the nine most keenly contested states.

But Barack Obama’s opinion poll lead in all the swing states is within the margin of error and Tuesday’s vote is likely to be close.

The election is run using an electoral college. Each state is given a number of votes based on its population. The candidate who wins 270 electoral college votes becomes president.

Ohio is proving to be a tough battle and, with 18 college votes, could prove a tipping point.

Barack Obama began his Saturday campaigning in the Ohio town of Mentor, while Mitt Romney staged his biggest rally of the campaign so far – 18,000 people – in West Chester on Friday.

Mitt Romney was joined by former primary rivals Rick Santorum and Rick Perry, as well as the defeated 2008 presidential candidate John McCain.

He said: “We’re almost home. One final push will get us there. The door to a brighter future is there, it’s open, it’s waiting for us.”

The Republican, whose main manifesto pledges are lower taxes and a $500 billion federal budget cut by 2012, said Friday’s jobs report was actually a “sad reminder that the economy is at a virtual standstill”.

Barack Obama has held mid-range rallies so far but plans to increase the size over the weekend, when he will be joined by former President Bill Clinton in Virginia on Saturday and in New Hampshire on Sunday.

The president campaigned hard in Ohio on Friday, highlighting his decision to bail out indebted US car makers in 2009, a move that was politically unpopular but which he says helped restore the industry.

Barack Obama’s manifesto sets out tax rises for the wealthy and more funding for job creation.

Mitt Romney has tried to make inroads into Pennsylvania, where opinion polls suggest the Democrats lead by four to five points but which would be a crucial boost to his chances if he could secure its 20 college votes.

The Republican challenger has also wooed Michigan and Minnesota, forcing the Democrats into late advertising there.

Early voting has been a key focus of this presidential election – some 25 million voters have already cast ballots in 34 states and the District of Columbia.

Some states have released the affiliation of early voters, giving Barack Obama an edge in Florida, Iowa, Nevada, North Carolina and Ohio, while Mitt Romney is favored in Colorado.

However, the figures suggest Barack Obama does not have the lead he had over John McCain four years ago.

Nevertheless, the Obama team has released data showing that two-thirds of those who have voted early are women, young people, blacks and Hispanics – demographics the Democrats say favor them.

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