The third and final presidential debate took place this week, while the campaign trails continued on for the neck-and-neck election race.

The debate, which took place on Monday night in Boca Raton, Florida, focused upon foreign policy. The candidates discussed issues such as Iranian sanctions, the relationship with Israel and withdrawal from Afghanistan.

President Obama went on the offensive, accusing Mitt Romney of flip-flopping on major international issues. However, the debate is unlikely to have much of an impact upon the outcome of the election.

President Obama emerged as the winner, with CNN publishing a poll which announced him as the winner over Mitt Romney by 48% to 40%.

Elsewhere, there was good news on Friday as the nation’s GDP was announced to have grown at 2% during the third quarter of this year, beating the expected forecast. Although not a spectacular figure, it is indicative of the direction that is unfolding, in an election race which the most pressing issue is the economy.

Obama, who is on a two-day campaign marathon across eight states, cast his early vote in his hometown of Chicago on Friday, as his campaign seeks to boost early ballots. It is estimated that 7.2 million people have already cast early ballots, and that about 35% of the electorate will have already voted by polling day.

Romney spent this week visiting key swing states too, making three stops in the crucial state of Ohio on Thursday, while his running mate Paul Ryan spent the day in Virginia. There was a fall-out this week, however, by a Republican candidate’s remarks on Tuesday night that pregnancy from rape was part of God’s plan. The Romney campaign said it disagreed with the comments by the Indiana senate hopeful Richard Mourdock, although it did not withdraw support from him.

“We disagree on the policy regarding exceptions for rape and incest, but still support him,” a campaign spokeswoman said.

Polls released have shown how close the race is, with a poll released on Friday claiming it was 49%-47% in Romney’s favour.

The campaigns will continue focusing on key swing states in the run-up to the election, which takes place on Tuesday 6 November.