(CNN) - Mitt Romney's running mate declared their ticket scored a win at Tuesday night's debate while campaigning in the battleground of Ohio on Wednesday.
Campaigning with former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio in Berea, a suburb of Cleveland, GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan said Romney "had a fantastic first debate... and last night – same thing."
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A CNN/ORC International poll of debate watchers found Romney overwhelmingly won the October 3 face off, while a Tuesday night survey found debate watchers were divided 46% for President Barack Obama, 39% Romney. The difference was within the sampling error of plus or minus 4.5 points.
Both sides claimed victory.
Ryan said that Obama had brought little substance to the debate.
"We saw a president offering not a single new idea on how to turn things around," he said at Baldwin Wallace University. "We saw a president not offer a single idea or a lesson learned from the failures of the last four years."
He asserted the Democratic president "basically has one new idea: raise taxes even more."
Romney's showing, he said, stood in contrast to Obama.
"But what we saw in Governor Mitt Romney was a leader who has the solutions, who has the ideas of how to turn this economy around, how to get people back to work and how to get America back on the right track," Ryan said.
He did not specifically refer to Romney's response to a debate question on gender inequality – a response which sparked conversation in social media – but did say there was "a discussion about how women are faring in this economy last night."
"Five and a half million women are still struggling for work in this economy," he said. "A half million women more are unemployed today than when President Obama was sworn in. Twenty-six million women are trapped in poverty today. That is the highest rate in 17 years. We need to get people back to work."
In 2008, Obama claimed victory in Ohio with 51.2% of the vote but he won an even larger margin - 69% - in Cuyahoga County, where this rally was held.
On Wednesday, Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted announced that more than 1.4 million Ohioans have either cast or requested an absentee ballot for this year's election.
Obama held an evening campaign event in Ohio and earlier rallied in Iowa. Romney, meanwhile, held events in Virginia.
Ryan, who was also scheduled to attend a fundraiser and roundtable discussion in the Columbus area Wednesday evening, said Obama's tactic in the election has been to "speak to our darker emotions of fear and of envy and anxiety."
Rice introduced Ryan to the audience of more than 1,800 people in Berea and drew applause when she shared stories about her upbringing and the nation being at a crossroads.
When Ryan came on stage, he said the former secretary of state was a "tough act to follow" for the second time - they had appeared on the same night at the Republican National Convention – and he joked that it was "a little intimidating."
Rice, who served as President George W. Bush's secretary of state in his second term and as National Security adviser in the first term, did not comment specifically on Tuesday's debate or weigh in on Romney's response to a question about how he would differentiate himself from her former boss.
During the debate, Romney noted he and Bush are "different people" and said he would "champion" small businesses and focus on jobs.
"President Bush has a very different path for a very different time. My path is designed in getting small businesses to grow and hire people," said Romney at the debate, which was moderated by CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley.
The GOP presidential nominee criticized the last Republican president for not balancing the budget and not cracking down on China on unfair trade practices.
Instead, Rice focused on a local connection. A football fanatic and lifelong Cleveland Browns fan, Rice joined Portman and Ryan for a visit to her favorite team's training complex nearby.
The three pols talked up new owner Jimmy Haslam and head coach Pat Shurmur. The seven-term congressman from Wisconsin met number 73 and University of Wisconsin alum Jay Thomas. The offensive tackle and the vice presidential hopeful swapped stories about hunting in their home state.
When Ryan addressed the team, he acknowledged Thomas and said he is a "big Badger fan" but made no mention of his National Football League team of choice, the Green Bay Packers.
The players gathered near the end zone, many of them kneeling on one knee as they listened to him. Ryan told them, "I went to Miami of Ohio, so half my friends are from Cleveland, half my friends are from Cincinnati, and all my friends from Cincinnati are pretty ticked off today."