DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) - A week after what is widely considered to be an overwhelming win in the first presidential debate, Republican candidate Mitt Romney brings his campaign back to Ohio, scheduled to spend the next four out of five days in the Buckeye state.
Romney will be at the Shelby County Fairgrounds in Sidney for a rally later today, after spending Tuesday evening at an event in Cuyahoga Falls.
In Ohio, the perennial battleground state, President Obama was leading in most polls going into last week's debate. That gap has narrowed, if not closed completely, with the latest Gallup poll showing the two presidential contenders in a tie at 47 percent each in Ohio.
"Republicans who were concerned about some of the poll numbers now have a higher degree of enthusiasm," said Ohio Senator Rob Portman in an story published in the New York Times . ""We've got a great opportunity to keep the momentum going."
Ohio, with 18 electoral votes, is a state that every Republican presidential candidate in history has needed to win the White House. If Obama wins Ohio, Romney will need to at least take Florida, and likely several other states now considered to be undecided, into his win column.
The president has spent much of his time since that first debate reassuring supporters that he's still leading the race.
"I am pretty competitive, and I very much intend to win this election," he told his audience at a recent fundraiser in California.
Then it was back to Ohio, where Tuesday he rallied students at Ohio State University in Columbus.
For the national audience, next-up is the debate between Vice President Joe Biden and Republican Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan. The two will face-off Thursday night at Centre College in Danville, Ky.
The next scheduled face-to-face meeting between Obama and Romney will be a Oct. 16 when the two meet for a town hall meeting style debate that will include both foreign and domestic policy issues.
Romney is scheduled on stage in Sidney at 6:00. 2 NEWS will be there live, with complete team coverage anchored by Mark Alan and Katie Ussin beginning at 5:00. You can watch Romney's speech streamed live on WDTN.com .