CINCINNATI (AP) — President Barack Obama is resuming his storm-delayed chase to win Ohio with help from former President Bill Clinton, while Republicans are putting together a huge rally for Friday evening in suburban Cincinnati.
The Obama campaign said the Democratic president on Friday will campaign at the Franklin County Fairgrounds in central Ohio, followed by a previously announced rally in Springfield and an afternoon rally in Lima. The western Ohio stops are both at high schools.
Obama had canceled two Ohio campaign visits, including a Wednesday rally in Cincinnati, and rescheduled the Springfield rally while he dealt with the needs and federal response after superstorm Sandy pounded the East Coast. Clinton will work Ohio for Obama on Thursday, with rallies in Toledo, Akron and Chillicothe. Details will be announced later.
Two polls released Wednesday indicated a tight race in Ohio between Obama and Republican candidate Mitt Romney.
The latest Quinnipiac University/New York Times/CBS News poll released Wednesday showed Obama at 50 percent, Romney at 45 percent and a margin of error of plus or minus 2.9 percentage points. The findings were virtually unchanged from the school's Oct. 22 poll. Pollsters interviewed 1,110 likely Ohio voters by phone Oct. 23 to 28.
Obama continued to hold a large advantage among women voters in that poll, with Romney doing better among men and independent voters.
The Ohio Poll, sponsored by the University of Cincinnati, showed a neck-and-neck race, with Obama at 48 percent, Romney 46 percent, and 2 percent for Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson. The poll of 1,182 likely voters conducted by phone Oct. 25 to 30 has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.9 percentage points.
It also showed Obama doing better among female voters; Romney better with males, while the poll indicated Obama was running ahead among independents.
The Ohio Poll showed Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown with 49 percent, while his Republican challenger, state Treasurer Josh Mandel, had 44 percent, findings that also fell within the poll's margin of error.
Johnson, the former Republican New Mexico governor who is the Libertarian Party's presidential candidate, also will be in Ohio on Friday. His campaign said Johnson would make stops in Dayton, Bowling Green and Streetsboro.
Meanwhile, the campaign of Romney and running mate Paul Ryan said they will be joined by an expanded list of big-name Republicans and star athletes Friday at their rally in the northern Cincinnati suburb of West Chester.
Besides Romney's wife, Ann, and children and Ryan's wife, Janna, the campaign said nearly 100 other surrogates will be campaigning this weekend for the ticket, with the push kicking off in West Chester. Among those expected in West Chester are former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Ohio Sen. Rob Portman and golf star Jack Nicklaus. The campaign released a long list of other well-known Republicans expected for West Chester or in other swing states.
House Speaker John Boehner will join the rally in his home area. He then plans to campaign around Ohio by bus Saturday through Monday, focusing on getting out the vote for Romney and helping Republican congressional candidates.
Romney and Ryan have focused earlier appearances this week on storm relief, with Romney gathering supplies Tuesday in Kettering, Ohio.
The Quinnipiac poll showed Brown leading his hotly contested race with Mandel. The poll put Brown with a 51 to 42 percent lead, with a margin of error of 2.9 percentage points.
And it also showed Gov. John Kasich's approval ratings have risen. The poll indicated a 49 percent job approval rating, to 37 percent who disapprove, for the first-term Republican governor. The poll also indicated that 52 percent of likely voters surveyed said Ohio's economy is getting better. That's good news for Kasich but also potentially helpful to the incumbent president.
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