Both President Barack Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney are competing in the battleground state of Ohio Wednesday in order to win the state's 18 electoral votes.
Losing Ohio would force both candidates to pick up all the other battleground states to secure the 270 votes necessary to win the White House.
Obama is scheduled to address state university students at two rallies Wednesday, while Romney will stop in major metropolitan areas on a bus tour.
The candidates are expected to clash over China.
The Obama campaign is hitting Romney for investments in Chinese companies.
"You can't stand up to China when all you've done is send them our jobs," the president said at a recent campaign event.
The Romney campaign plans to draw sharp contrasts with Obama over middle-class economic issues. Its latest buzzword to describe the options for voters: choice.
"We are going to give you, our fellow citizens, a clear choice," vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan said this week. "This is an election which is a dramatic choice" said Romney.
For Obama to win in November, he must buck the unemployment trend. The current rate stands at 8.1 percent, and no president has been re-elected with the number above 8 percent since the Great Depression.
New polls show the president leading in battleground states like Ohio.
The Obama campaign is also working to capitalize on a secretly recorded tape released last week that shows Romney at a private reception, saying 47 percent of the country is dependent on the government.
Romney's wife, Ann, admitted the tape has been a problem for the campaign.
"It's a very frustrating thing because you try so hard to get your message out," she told "the Tonight Show" host Jay Leno. "We care about the 100 percent."
Both candidates are also gearing up for the first presidential debate next Wednesday at the University of Denver. Jim Lehrer, host of PBS's "NewsHour," will moderate. The debate will focus on domestic policy.