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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Campaigns Hit the Road for Labor Day Weekend


So where to from here?

Labor Day weekend fills the lull between the end of the Republican National Convention on Thursday and the start of its Democratic counterpart on Tuesday in Charlotte, N.C., but neither campaign is pausing for breath.

Labor Day might once have been the unofficial kickoff of presidential campaigns, but in the era of the yearlong primary fight, that schedule is as quaint as marching in parades to get voters' attention.

Mr. Romney and Mr. Ryan will spend Friday together, starting with a send-off rally in Lakeland, Fla., east of Tampa along the Interstate 4 corridor, a swing region in a battleground state. From there, they hop to Richmond, Va., for another joint appearance.

President Obama, in the meantime, is beginning his own itinerary of battleground states on Saturday, rolling out what he calls a “Road to Charlotte” tour. First stop is outside Des Moines, a continuation of Mr. Obam a's saturation campaigning in Iowa, which included a three-day bus tour this month. He visits Sioux City, Iowa, later in the day.

On Saturday, Mr. Ryan has a public event in Columbus, Ohio (the site of the big game between Ohio State University and his alma mater, Miami of Ohio), while Mr. Romney appears in Cincinnati. The Republican ticket returns to Florida later that day for a rally in Jacksonville.

Mr. Obama will campaign Sunday morning on the quad at the University of Colorado in the liberal city of Boulder. He flies to Toledo, Ohio, that afternoon.

If it seems as though the two presidential campaigns are dancing around each other, shuffling and dodging in a tight ring defined by a handful of states, that is likely to be the status quo until they put on the real gloves at a series of debates in October.