WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama and his Republican rival Mitt Romney are barnstorming across battleground states in their quest for the White House, but on Friday the two will find themselves in the same small corner of America.
A day after Obama officially accepts his Democratic Party’s nomination on Thursday, he and Vice President Joe Biden will head to Portsmouth, New Hampshire for a campaign event, the White House said.
Romney, who is currently hunkered down in neighboring Vermont practicing for his three debates with Obama in October, will travel to nearby Nashua for a rally on Friday, according to his campaign, leaving the candidates barely 40 miles (65 kilometers) from one another as they stump for New Hampshire votes.
The Granite State is the smallest of 10 crucial battlegrounds of the November 6 election, with just four of the 270 electoral votes needed for victory.
With polls showing the race neck-and-neck, neither Obama nor Romney is willing to cede ground in any of the swing states.
Obama won New Hampshire by nearly 10 points in 2008, but it’s a closer race this year, with a Real Clear Politics average of polls showing Obama ahead of Romney by 3.5 percentage points in the state.
Romney, a multimillionaire former investor, has a few advantages among New Hampshire voters, some 40 percent of whom are reportedly listed as independent: he was governor of neighboring Massachusetts, and he has a vacation home on the shores of New Hampshire’s popular Lake Winnipesaukee.
Both candidates have already visited the state — whose fiercely independent motto is “Live Free or Die” — several times this year.
Obama campaigned there most recently on August 18, while Romney and his running mate Paul Ryan held a town hall-style campaign event in the state two days later.