WASHINGTON – President Obama is returning to New Hampshire this weekend, making his third trip to the key swing state this year.
The White House announced his trip on Monday, saying he would be participating in several political campaign events, but did not release additional details.
Although the Granite State has a mere four electoral votes, President Obama and his Republican rival Mitt Romney have both been aggressively pursuing the state’s independent-minded electorate. Under some election scenarios, its four electoral votes are the ones that will decide the election.
For Romney, the state is both personal and political. It is home to his summer residence and has been the staging ground for many of his important marking points of his candidacy. The campaign had planned to announce Paul Ryan as Romney’s vice president in the state last Friday, but a memorial service in Ryan’s congressional district forced them to stage the announcement instead in Norfolk, Va.
Obama has made several trips to the state, and also sent Vice President Joe Biden and First Lady Michelle Obama several others.
Recent poll results show the race to be close in New Hampshire, but Obama has a small lead. A WMUR poll last month, conducted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center, had Obama with support from 49 percent of likely voters, compared with 45 percent for Romney. The result was within the survey’s 4.3 percentage point margin of error.
The candidates had generally secured support from their bases – 89 percent of Democrats said they supported Obama, and 86 percent of Republicans said they supported Romney – but independents were evenly split between the two candidates.