EDITOR'S NOTE: CNN has sent dozens of reporters, producers, contributors and correspondents to the key battleground states to cover the final days of the 2012 election. Here is a brief report from one team:
Tampa, Florida (CNN) - One audible sign that President Barack Obama's marathon campaign schedule is taking a toll: his voice.
"My voice is getting a little hoarse, but I'm just going to keep on keeping on until every single person out there is going to vote," Obama told a crowd of 8,500 at a park in Tampa.
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The president arrived in the battleground Sunshine State early Thursday morning after flying overnight from Las Vegas. Upon arrival he stopped for donuts at a Krispy Kreme and delivered a batch to firefighters thanking them for their service.
One firefighter challenged the president to a basketball game, to which Obama responded, "I don't want to embarrass you in front of the (press)."
The president is set to cast an early ballot later Thursday in Chicago, becoming the first commander in chief to vote for themselves ahead of Election Day. The trip to his home state is the latest effort to help spur early voting.
"We can vote early in Illinois just like you can vote in Florida," Obama said in Florida, where early voting begins Saturday.
He added: "I can't tell you who I am voting for. It's a secret ballot, but Michelle said she voted for me."
Also on the CNN Political Ticker
– McCain says Mourdock endorsement up in the air
– Obama: The 'other guy' is a 'bulls**ter'
– Romney beats back on 'horses and bayonets'
– Obama's Facebook warning
i may vote the way that michelle did. mom knows best. cant wait for the results.
My husband, mother and I have already voted for you, Mr. President. Thanks to you, the country's economy didn't completely collapse. Now, it's coming back–your policies are sound because they're working. Loved you on Jay Leno last night!! Your comment about the Donald, aka "The Hair," was hilarious!! We're all rooting for you! God bless you.
Go Obama/Biden 2012
Easier to come in to office and build on the success of Obama than to start from scratch after Bush. Had Romney been elected during the last round, we'd be in a full-blown depression.
We have your back Mr President. I proudly voted early and mine is not a secret one. Rooting for you Mr Prez. Gargle with warm salt water and give your voice a rest. Looking forward to your acceptance speech.