NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — President Barack Obama’s visit to New York City made for gridlock on the roads Wednesday evening. He has since wrapped up his visit and has left town.
Fundraising with the help of current and former National Basketball Association stars, Obama told a small group of donors attending the $20,000-a-plate dinner Wednesday night at Alice Tully Hall in Lincoln Center that the current campaign is like the final minutes of a basketball contest with his team up by a few points
“But the other side is coming strong,” Obama said. “And they play a little dirty. We’ve got a few folks on our team in foul trouble. We have a couple of injuries. And I believe they have one last run in them.”
Obama raised $3 million with the help of the players, who included NBA great Michael Jordan and former Knicks Walt Frazier and Bill Bradley. NBA Commissioner David Stern also was in attendance.
Invoking Jordan’s competitive nature, Obama concluded: “If you have seven minutes to go and you have a little bit of a lead, that’s when you put them away.”
Later, Obama changed out of his dark suit to shoot baskets with some of the players out of sight of the press. Obama, an avid basketball fan and a player, made a splash during his 2008 campaign by sinking a 3-point shot while visiting troops in Kuwait. His most recent star-studded game, also played in private, featured actors George Clooney and Tobey Maguire.
Republican candidate Mitt Romney will be holding a fundraising event Wednesday in New Mexico.
WCBS 880’s Paul Murnane reports
CBS News reports so far the Republicans have out-raised the Democrats $101 million to $75 million.
“This is an extraordinarily expensive election for a number of reasons,” Baruch College’s Doug Muzzio said. “It’s a cash game.”
Both the Obama and Romney campaigns have shunned federal funding and some recent New York area events have commanded tickets costing as much as $40,000.
Bill Allison, of the Sunlight Foundation, said there are two kinds of states when it comes to fundraising — “swing states” and “ATM states.”
For the candidates, Muzzio said it’s common sense for the candidates that New York is a place to work for cash more than votes.
Meanwhile, a new poll shows the White House race is a tight one.
The Associated Press/GfK poll shows Obama holding onto a lead of just a single percentage point. Forty-seven percent of those polled say they plan to vote for Obama while 46 percent said they intend to cast their ballots for Romney.
The poll’s margin of error means the candidates are in a virtual deadlock.
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