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With the presidential race tightening, First Lady Michelle Obama made a campaign stop in Philadelphia yeaterday at the National Constitution Center to rally supporters and fire up volunteers.

President Barack Obama has a double-digit lead over Republican candidate Mitt Romney in Pennsylvania, according to the latest Franklin and Marshall poll, but is virtually tied with Romney in national polls. Mrs. Obama’s visit marked her first of the 2012 campaign to a state that her husband won in 2008 and will need again in his re-election bid.

The First Lady was joined by Mayor Michael Nutter, District Attorney Seth Williams, and Democratic Attorney General candidate Kathleen Kane. She talked about President Obama’s vision and his efforts to turn around a sluggish economy.

“While we still have a long way to go to repairing our economy, millions of people are collecting a paycheck today,” she told the crowd.

Mrs. Obama also highlighted the president’s support for women’s rights, including equal pay, better health care coverage and the appointment of three female Supreme Court Justices. She also impressed the importance of grassroots campaigning and voter registration.

“Don’t forget this election will be even closer than before,” she said.

Supporters said they stand behind Obama in spite of the economy’s slow improvement.

“Everything doesn’t happen overnight and that’s what America needs to remember. He has inherited a lot of mess,” said 23-year-old Abu Edwards, who lives in the city’s Olney section.

Two-time volunteer Denise Dicks said she is alright with the president’s controversial support of gay marriage, even if she does not endorse the idea.

“In the beginning I didn’t have a clear picture, but now I believe he’s saying people should have a choice if that’s their [preference].”

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