Romney to launch final campaign blitz with major Ohio rally Friday

GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney will begin his final leg of the campaign on Friday by hosting a rally in Ohio alongside a battery of high-profile Republican surrogates before sending them to stump for him in battleground states. 

Romney “will be joined by nearly 100 governors, senators, mayors, and more,” the campaign announced Wednesday in a statement. “Following the rally, from Friday to Monday, these supporters will travel the country in groups to campaign in eleven states.”

Among the surrogates who will join Romney and running mate Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) at the “Real Republican Road Rally” in West Chester, Ohio, are former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Sens. Marco Rubio (Fla.), John McCain (Ariz.), Rob Portman (Ohio), John Thune (S.D.), Lindsey Graham (S.C.) and Kelly Ayotte (N.H.).

The announcement of the Friday rally comes a day after both presidential campaigns were forced to scale back activities as Hurricane Sandy battered the East Coast. 

The campaign is set to resume Wednesday, though, with Romney slated to attend a trio of events in Florida. President Obama will remain in Washington to continue to monitor the recovery efforts from Sandy.

Ohio is seen as crucial to both campaigns’ Electoral College math, and polls this week have shown the battleground state remains a toss-up. Without Ohio, the path to victory narrows dramatically for both candidates, and no modern Republican candidate has lost the state and gone on to win the presidency. 

From the West Chester rally, the Romney surrogates will spread out through 11 states, stumping for the GOP nominee until Election Day.

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