Speaking to more than 1,000 supporters on the factory floor at Gradall Industries, Ryan told voters: "You know it's you. You know what you have in front of you. You know your responsibility."

Campaign 2012 was serious business, with so little time left and the storm complicating the end game, but Ryan's children helped to lighten the tone. His 7-, 9- and 10-year-olds scampered between parts bins and heavy chains at the factory.

Nine-year-old Charlie waved the peace sign and mugged for cameras, prompting his mother, Janna Ryan, to shake her head and declare, "I don't know where he gets it. It's kind of crazy."

During a later stop at a bakery in Circleville, Ohio, 10-year-old daughter Liz told the bakery clerk that her dad was "sugar-free except for doughnuts and ice cream."

"And apple-fritters," Ryan agreed.

Obama, for his part, made a stop at the Common Man Merrimack, a restaurant where he toasted patrons with a Common Man Ale, saying: "To voting. To America. Doesn't matter what party."

The campaigns and their allies kept up a steady stream of TV and radio ads in the battleground states. The right-leaning Americans for Job Security made a rare purchase of Philadelphia airtime, amounting to $1.2 million, for pro-Romney ads. While a few independent groups have tried to make Pennsylvania competitive for Romney, neither Obama nor Romney has devoted ad resources to the state, which is expected to go for Obama.