Obama to visit Ohio, Pennsylvania on first '12 campaign bus tour

President Obama will launch a campaign bus tour next week, visiting the key swing states of Pennsylvania and Ohio.

A campaign official confirmed the planned trip, which will be Obama’s first of the 2012 cycle, to The Hill.

The two-day trip is expected to begin July 5, according to The Associated Press, which first reported the story.


The tour is expected to signal a shift in Obama's focus from high-profile fundraising events to greater engagement with voters. A campaign official said Obama’s schedule would begin to include a variety of events to allow the president to reach out to the electorate. 

Obama has spent much of June on a fundraising blitz, this week visiting New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Georgia and Florida. 

Reports said that while the details of Obama's trip had yet to be finalized, he is expected to visit northern Ohio and Western Pennsylvania. 

The announcement of the tour comes as new polls show Obama leading GOP nominee Mitt Romney in those two states. A Quinnipiac survey released Wednesday shows Obama with a 9-point edge, topping Romney with 74 percent support to 38 in Ohio. In Pennsylvania, Obama leads by 6, with 45 percent to 39 for Romney.

Ohio and Pennsylvania, both of which Obama carried in 2008, are two of 12 key swing states that are expected to decide the November presidential election. 

Romney set out on his own bus tour earlier this month, hitting six Midwestern states on a five-day trip.

Last August, Obama also toured the region as he sought to build support for his jobs agenda. In October, Obama hit the road again on a three-day tour of Virginia and North Carolina.

Amie Parnes contributed.

This story was updated at 8:32 a.m.