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Barack Obama and Mitt Romney campaign in Ohio

  • U.S. President Barack Obama and his Republican rival Mitt Romney spent much of Wednesday campaigning in Ohio, as opinion polls show the incumbent leading against his rival in the swing state.

    Obama has a five-point lead, according to a Real Clear Politics average of surveys.

    He addressed two universities, while Romney attended events in three cities as he travelled the state by bus.

    This is the last week of campaigning before the presidential debates begin.

    Early voting is due to begin in Ohio from October 2, ahead of Election Day on November 6

    Obama has made 13 visits to Ohio this year. Romney has been to the state 10 times since the beginning of May, according to his campaign.

    Political analysts suggest Ohio's improving economy has favored Obama. The state's unemployment rate is 7.2 percent, below the national average of 8.3 percent.

    It will be difficult for Romney to win the November 6 election without Ohio, where the Obama-backed government bailout of the auto industry saved thousands of jobs.

    No Republican has ever won the White House without carrying the state.