Cindi Andrews, Paul Kostyu and Jane Prendergast report:
The presidential race returned to Ohio for the final push Friday as GOP challenger Mitt Romney held a massive rally in the Republican heartland north of Cincinnati and President Barack Obama cut a swath through central Ohio.
“The question of the election comes down to this: Do you want more of the same or do you want real change?” Romney said Friday night in West Chester Township. “I promise change, and I actually have a record of achieving it.”
Romney spoke to a crowd of 30,000, according to West Chester Fire Chief Tony Goller – making it the largest rally of the campaign, said Romney spokesman Chris Maloney.
Both candidates are trying to make up for campaign time lost to superstorm Sandy and deliver their final arguments to voters before Tuesday’s election.
Obama, in his first Ohio trip since Sandy struck the East Coast, said in Lima on Friday afternoon that the policies of previous Republican administrations didn’t work.
“Ohio, we’ve tried our ideas and they work,” he said. “We’ve tried the other folks’ ideas. They don’t work. The eight years before I took office, we tried their ideas. What did we get? We got falling incomes, record deficits … and an economic crisis that we’ve been cleaning up after ever since.”
With less than four days before Election Day, the race is too close to predict in several key states, including Ohio. The latest poll out Friday, by CNN/ORC International, shows Obama leading 50 percent to 47 percent in Ohio, well within the 3.5 percentage point margin of error.
Obama will make what’s almost certainly his last Cincinnati stop of the campaign at the University of Cincinnati’s Fifth Third Arena on Sunday evening, while Romney will be in Cleveland. And the candidates will campaign down to the wire in Ohio – both have announced events Monday in Columbus.