CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Obama and Romney campaigns will renew their pushes to secure the handful of swing states that will help decide the 2012 election on Friday.
After two weeks of conventions, the campaigns return to the gritty retail politics that, in addition to the debates, will define the final 60 days leading up to the Nov. 6 election.
President Obama won all of those states in 2008 and will need to hold on to about half if he’s to secure reelection.
Neither campaign is slated to spend any time outside of these battleground states in the coming days.
The president, Vice President Biden and both of their spouses will visit Iowa on Friday, a state the campaign has focused on vigorously in recent weeks. It will be the president’s fifth trip to Iowa since mid-August, when he spent three consecutive days in the Hawkeye State.
The Obama campaign then moves on to New Hampshire, where it will cross paths with Mitt Romney and his wife, Ann, who also have public events scheduled in the Granite State on Friday.
From there, the president and vice president will part ways, with Obama launching a two-day bus tour through Florida on Saturday, where he’ll push his message of building an economy “from the middle out,” while bashing Romney’s “failed top-down economic policies that crashed our economy and punished the middle class.” Florida is the largest swing-state prize, with 29 electoral votes at stake.
Biden will campaign in Ohio on Saturday and Sunday. The Buckeye State is considered the quintessential swing state for its pattern of voting for the winning candidate and its diverse demographics. It has the second most electoral votes at stake, with 19.
The president will campaign in Colorado and Nevada on Wednesday and Thursday.
Romney will spend his Saturday in Virginia, which polls show is a true toss-up. The candidates are currently tied at 47 percent support, according to the Real Clear Politics average of polls.
GOP VP nominee Paul Ryan, who spent the week campaigning in North Carolina, Ohio, Iowa and Colorado, will be in Nevada this weekend.
The schedule marks a shift from the past two weeks of base-rallying at the conventions, where the parties introduced and pitched their candidates, rising stars and activists.
Obama and Romney enter the final stretch deadlocked nationally, and polling in most swing states is just as close.
Republicans failed to get much of a bounce after their convention in Tampa, Fla., last week, and Democrats are tempering expectations coming out of theirs on Thursday.
“You can never tell if there will be a big bounce,” Rep. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) told The Hill after his Wednesday night convention speech. “I don’t think that’s as important as laying the predicate — the difference between us and them. I think their convention and our convention is doing just that and we like it.”
Obama campaign manager Jim Messina dodged when asked by The Hill whether Obama will see a bounce in the polls after the convention.
“This race has been stable for a very long time,” he said. “But we continue to have the advantage of more pathways to 270 electoral votes.”