In a sign that President Barack Obama's re-election campaign is entering a new phase of more direct voter outreach, the president will hit the road in his first bus tour of the general election campaign.
A campaign official confirmed Wednesday the president will take part in a two-day bus trip next week, beginning July 5, in western Pennsylvania and northern Ohio.
Not only are both states battleground territory this November, but the bus tour's path is also home to many working class voters, one of the major groups both campaigns are trying attract.
The campaign will start to include a wider variety of public events with the aim to give the president more exposure to voters.
Fundraisers, however, will still be a key part of the schedule as Team Obama fights to stay financially even with the Republican effort to elect rival Mitt Romney. On Tuesday, Obama's campaign sent out a fund-raising email warning supporters that he will "be the first president in modern history to be outspent in his re-election campaign, if things continue as they have so far."
Romney had his own bus tour earlier this month, hitting Pennsylvania and Ohio, as well as Iowa, Michigan, New Hampshire and Wisconsin.
The Obama campaign announcement comes the same day as a new Quinnipiac University survey indicates Obama with a slight edge over Romney in the two states on the bus tour. In Pennsylvania, Obama leads Romney 45 percent-39 percent, and in Ohio, the Democratic incumbent is ahead 47 percent-38 percent, according to the poll.
CNN's Electoral Map rates Ohio as a toss-up state and Pennsylvania as a state that leans in favor of Obama.