Steve Muza / For the Lantern
President Barack Obama will kick off his national re-election campaign with a rally at Ohio State on May 5, according to an Obama campaign official. His visit will mark his second trip to OSU in 37 days and his fourth visit to Ohio this year.
Political experts are speculating Obama is kicking off his campaign trail in a dominant swing state like Ohio in order to energize voters. Obama won Ohio and Virginia in 2008, and he is expected to need to carry both in order to remain in the White House.
Not far behind, former Massachusetts governor and Republican presidential primary front-runner Mitt Romney is expected to make an appearance at Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio, Friday to talk with graduating seniors. Gov. John Kasich will be joining him at 2 p.m.
The same day prior to his planned OSU visit, Obama will be traveling to Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond to speak to students. Details of the events were not yet released, but he is expected to appear with first lady Michelle Obama.
Vice President Joe Biden has made three visits to Ohio this year. Biden visited Gahanna Lincoln High School in January with Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to speak about college affordability, a subject Barack Obama has been speaking about all week to college students across the nation.
In addition to the president’s speeches, the White House Twitter account has been campaigning hard to convince Congress not to double student loan interest rates.
Barack Obama appeared in Elyria, Ohio, on April 18 and Romney in Lorain, Ohio, on April 19.
Previously on campus, Barack Obama spoke about energy and visited with OSU students to see their projects at the Center of Automotive Research facility.
“You know what I’m talking about here, because this school is a national leader in developing new sources of energy and advanced vehicles that use a lot less energy,” Barack Obama said during his March 22 visit.
In 2008, Barack Obama beat Republican candidate and Arizona senator John McCain by 262,224 votes out of a total 5.6 million votes cast by a margin of 4.6 percent.
One OSU professor, David Stebenne, spoke about Ohio’s importance for the 2012 presidential election.
“No Republican has won without carrying the state of Ohio,” Stebenne said. “So it is definitely considered by most presidential candidates.”
In 2008, between Barack Obama and McCain, 69 campaign stops were made in Ohio between Labor Day and Election Day.