DAYTON, Ohio (CNN)– John McCain is back in Ohio today. He's holding rallies in Zanesville and Lancaster, in the central part of the state. Tomorrow McCain campaigns here in Dayton before heading east to Pennsylvania. But McCain is expected to be back in Ohio later in the week.
Why's Senator McCain (R-Arizona) spending so much time here? Because Ohio is a must-win state for McCain. He needs to hold onto the states that George W. Bush carried four years ago in his re-election for president. With McCain trailing Barack Obama in the polls in some of those states, like Virginia, Iowa, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and North Carolina, it's essential for the Republican presidential nominee to hold on to Ohio and its 20 electoral votes.
"Obama can win without Ohio. McCain can't." says CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider. He adds that "the Democrats’ strategy is to deny Ohio to McCain. No Republican presidential nominee has won the White House without Ohio."
The latest CNN Poll of Polls in Ohio suggests Obama has a five point lead, 49 percent to 44 percent, with 7 percent of voters undecided. The poll of polls is an average of the latest surveys in the state.
McCain won't have the state to himself. Obama campaigns in Canton, Ohio tomorrow, and expect him to make a return visit before election day on November 4th.