Michelle Obama

Four years ago, then-senator Barack Obama held a rally at the University of Cincinnati on the Sunday before the election, his final stop in Cincinnati before going on to win Ohio and the White House two days later.

This year, Obama - now locked in a tight re-election campaign where Ohio will play a crucial role - will return to the same Sunday for a rally at UC's Fifth Third Arena in what is likely to be his final campaign appearance in the area before Tuesday's election.

First Lady Michelle Obama will hold Ohio campaign events Monday in Delaware and Cleveland Monday, two days after Mitt Romney makes stops in Lebanon and Portsmouth.

The First Lady will hold a noon hour rally Monday at Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware and a 5 p.m. event at Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland - both rallies aimed at encouraging college students to vote early and encourage their friends to do so.

But, first, Romney will be campaigning in Ohio Saturday.

First Lady Michelle Obama gave 6,800 enthusiastic supporters the inspirational speech they sought Tuesday afternoon at the Duke Energy Convention Center; and hammered home the message that brought her here in the first place.

It was the fact that Tuesday was the first day of early voting in Ohio, a key battleground state that both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney covet tremendously.

“Here in Ohio it is already election day,’’ the First Lady told a cheering and fired-up crowd at the convention center. “Early voting starts today.”

Howard Wilkinson talks with Maryanne Zeleznik about early voting, the First Lady's visit and the latest polls

First Lady Michelle Obama will rally the troops at the Duke Energy Convention Center on Tuesday, the first day of early voting in Ohio.

According to a campaign press release, the First Lady will "speak about what's at stake in this election for Ohioans, encourage them to organize their communities between now and November, and promote voter registration and voting through GottaVote.com."

The event is free and open to the public, but a ticket is required.

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