Mitt Romney's presidential campaign is hoping to leverage President Barack Obama's kickoff rally at The Ohio State University.
A Romney campaign bus was parked across the street from the Schottenstein Center, where Obama Saturday was holding his first official campaign rally of his re-election bid. Outside and inside the bus, around 35 Romney campaign volunteers and college students were holding a mobile call center.
"We view college students as representing really what's going to the backbone of our organization here in Ohio. There's a lot of college enthusiasm and advocacy on behalf of Gov. Romney's campaign. These college students today are reaching out to undecided voters and swing voters who we've targeted, that we've identified through our data base going back through several past elections. Folks who we know are inclined to support Gov. Romney," said Chris Maloney, communications director for Romney's operation in Ohio.
Maloney told CNN that the Romney campaign has had mobile call centers going on throughout the Buckeye State the past six weeks. By his count, some 10,000 calls have been made.
"We're very please today to be joined at Ohio State University, just a stone's throw away from where the president will be speaking, with college students who have come in from across the state to make phone calls, knock on doors, mobilize and get our message out," added Maloney. "We're here on the ground building up our organization, getting the campaign wrapped up so we can maintain a really aggressive approach to our grassroots outreach over the next six months."
Ohio has become a crucial battleground state in recent presidential elections. The Buckeye State put President George W. Bush over the top in his 2004 re-election. Four years ago, Obama won Ohio by five points over Sen. John McCain of Arizona (52%-47%).
The most recent public opinion poll in Ohio, released earlier this week by Quinnipiac University, indicated the race all tied up between Obama and Romney, the presumptive Republican nominee. According to the survey, 44% of registered voters supported Obama, with 42% backing Romney. The president's two point margin was well with in the poll's sampling error.