President Barack Obama plans to build on an impressive fundraising haul as he launched a lucrative and celebrity studded trip to California, a day after Mitt Romney ticked off examples suggesting that news of a drop in unemployment has not reversed what ails the nation.
Mr Romney rallied in battleground Florida, the day after the government reported an unemployment rate of 7.8% in September, breaking a 43-month streak of joblessness of 8% or higher.
The report risked breaking Mr Romney's stride, gained in a strong debate performance days earlier.
Because the American presidential race is decided in state-by-state votes rather than by popular vote, such "battleground" states that do not reliably vote either Republican or Democratic will likely decide the race.
The president was scheduled to launch a lucrative and celebrity-studded fundraising swing to Los Angeles and San Francisco, followed by a campaign rally in battleground Ohio.
"There is exactly one month left to go until Election Day," Obama campaign manager Jim Messina said in an email pitch.
"The stakes are too high for us to take our foot off the gas now."
Persistently high unemployment, long after the recession's official end, has been a leading threat to Mr Obama's re-election and the improvement came as a marked relief to the Mr Obama campaign and a tricky development for his Republican rival.