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Obamas Rally Voters Before Key Elections

President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama muster support for Democratic candidates during a rally at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, 17 Oct. 2010.

U.S. President Barack Obama tried to energize young voters in the central US state of Ohio Sunday -- just two weeks ahead of crucial congressional elections.

The president acknowledged that the tough economy and high unemployment rate are making this a difficult election for the Democrats.

Mr. Obama told a crowd at Ohio State University that the Republicans are counting on voters "forgetting who caused the mess in the first place."

The president is campaigning with first lady Michelle Obama Sunday for the first time since taking office.

The November 2 vote will determine whether the Democratic Party will retain control of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.

Republicans have blamed Mr. Obama's policies for the sluggish economy and for huge federal budget deficits.

The Ohio State event is one of five rallies Obama has scheduled during the final weeks of the campaign. All are in states with competitive elections where Mr. Obama's popularity has plummeted -- Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Ohio, California and Nevada.

Recent opinion polls indicate that the Republican Party could win control of the House and gain seats in the Senate. The latest government data also shows Republicans have raised more money than their Democratic rivals.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.