COLUMBUS, Ohio - President Obama made an urgent push to get out the vote in the key battleground state of Ohio today, urging 15,000 supporters to register before time runs out tonight.
"Today is the last day you can register. Now, I know it's easy to procrastinate in college. I procrastinated a lot," the president jokingly told students at the Ohio State University. "You've got until 9 p.m. tonight. No extensions. No excuses. I know you guys are up at 9 p.m. As you get older, you start thinking about sleeping around 9 p.m., but you guys are just getting started."
Both Obama and GOP nominee Mitt Romney campaigned in Ohio today as they compete for the state's critical 18 electoral votes - no Republican has ever been elected president without winning Ohio. After his strong debate performance last week, Romney has ramped up his campaigning in the state.
"All right, Buckeyes. We need you. We need you fired up," Obama said as he spoke alongside a giant "Vote Early" sign. "I need you voting. I need you fired up. I need you ready to go to vote because we've got some work to do. We've got an election to win. Everything that we fought for in 2008 is on the line in 2012. And I need your help to finish what we started."
The president's campaign has worked aggressively over the past three and a half years to boost its ground game in the Buckeye State.
"This is an inherent ground game advantage because we've been building relationships," Obama campaign spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters traveling with the president today. "We've been signing up grassroots leaders and organizing neighbor-to-neighbor programs. And ultimately we know it's more than what the ads are that are on the airwaves. It's more than the phone call that someone gets from the campaign staff to remind them to go and vote. It's hearing from your neighbor … that it's important to go vote, what the stakes are, and that's always been a focus of our ground game."