Obama to campaign on UW-Madison campus
President will speak outside of Bascom Hall
President Barack Obama will campaign at the center of the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus Thursday outside of Bascom Hall.
The appearance marks the second time Obama has been in Wisconsin in as many weeks. It's his first visit to Madison since 2010, when he rallied supporters on the UW-Madison campus for Democratic candidates for governor and U.S. Senate.
His campaign said Obama will use the event Thursday afternoon to encourage supporters to register to vote and to vote early.
The event is free and open to the public, and doors open at noon. Those who wish to attend must RSVP online at www.barackobama.com/Madison2012. To pass through security, people must display their receipt on their mobile device or have a printed copy of their RSVP.
In-person early voting begins in Wisconsin on Oct. 22 and ends Nov. 2. Absentee ballots can be requested now. Those must be postmarked by Election Day on Nov. 6.
Obama's stop in Madison comes the day after the first presidential debate against Republican Mitt Romney in Denver.
Republicans said the president has a "Wisconsin problem" and is making two stops in the state in two weeks because of concern over GOP momentum.
In a statement, Romney campaign spokesman Ben Sparks said it's clear the president is acknowledging a problem, saying that, "after winning the state by 14 points in 2008, President Obama obviously sees the writing on the wall that Wisconsin is poised to go red in November."
Obama supporters refuted that, saying instead that Madison is a location where the president can draw a huge crowd and use the platform to encourage early voting, which helped Obama in Wisconsin in 2008.
"I could see why they (Republicans) would say that. I think that's their job to say that, but I think they know that's probably wrong simply because the president is surging in the polls in Wisconsin because of a lot of hard work that a lot of people throughout the state have done. If anything, I think he's coming here to seal the deal, to close the door on Wisconsin and make sure that Democrats win," said state Sen. Jon Erpenbach, D-Middleton.
After Madison, Obama will visit Fairfax County, Va., and Cleveland, Ohio.
Copyright 2012 by Channel 3000. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.