Obama and Romney both planned events in Virginia on Friday, reflecting the hotly contested race for the state's 13 electoral votes.
Romney planned a rally later in the day in St. Petersburg, Fla., kicking off a weekend of campaigning in that state, the largest of the prized battlegrounds. Obama was holding a Friday rally in Cleveland and then heading to California for a fundraising spree beginning Sunday that will include a concert in Los Angeles featuring Jon Bon Jovi, Katy Perry and Stevie Wonder.
Traveling aboard Air Force One, White House senior adviser David Plouffe foreshadowed an intense focus on Ohio in the coming weeks, where polls have shifted in Obama's favor. No Republican has won the presidency without winning Ohio, and Obama's campaign sees blocking Romney there as one of its best paths to victory.
Plouffe said the true measure of the first debate was whether it moved voters in the battleground states. Speaking of Romney, Plouffe said, "Is he going to take the lead in Ohio? If he doesn't, he's not going to be president," he said.