CINCINNATI - 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.
The latest Quinnipiac University/New York Times/CBS News poll released Wednesday indicated Obama was hanging on to a lead over Republican Mitt Romney in Ohio, considered likely to be pivotal in deciding their race. The 5-point lead, 50-45, was unchanged from the school's Oct. 22 poll. Pollsters interviewed 1,110 likely Ohio voters Oct. 23-28, with a margin of error of plus or minus 2.9 percent.
Obama continued to hold a large lead among women voters in that Ohio poll, with Romney doing better among males and independent voters.
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 and 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.
Romney and Ryan have focused earlier appearances this week on storm relief, with Romney gathering supplies Tuesday in Kettering, Ohio.
The Quinnipiac poll also continued to show Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown leading his hotly contested race with state Treasurer Josh Mandel. The poll put Brown with a 51-42 percent lead.
And it also showed Ohio 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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