RICHMOND, Va. -

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is airing campaign ads in Wisconsin, making a play to win the state last carried by a Republican in 1984.

Romney hopes the ads, blaming Barack Obama for the federal deficit, can give him an edge in the state which is home to his running mate Paul Ryan and where recent polls have shown him even with the Democrat incumbent.

Romney is airing a new commercial statewide starting Sunday. In the ad, he said Wisconsin isn't better off today under Obama. He said he plans to cut government spending, eliminate the deficit and create 240,000 jobs for Wisconsin.

The former Massachusetts governor is also hoping to force Obama to defend Wisconsin by spending additional campaign money there. Obama carried Wisconsin by 14 percentage points in 2008 and has not aired ads there.

Independent groups backing Romney and Obama are running ads in the Badger state.

Romney, a native of Michigan, also hopes to compete there, which Democratic presidential candidates have carried since 1988.