(NECN/NBC News: Steve Handelsman, Washington) - Mitt Romney and President Obama are campaigning in the swing state of Virginia Thursday.
Romney speaks to a veterans event at an American Legion post in Springfield, Va., while Obama holds a rally in Virginia Beach, in an area that's home to thousands of military families.
Once a Republican state that swung into President Obama's column last time and could be for grabs now.
Romney's event was relatively low key. Some of his staunch supporters said they want more passion.
Ten miles from the Pentagon, in Springfield, Va. Romney spoke to veterans .
Blaming president Obama for the agreement with Republicans to slash defense spending if there's no budget deal by Jan. 1
"And the idea of cutting our military commitment by over a trillion dollars in this decade is unthinkable and devastating," Romey told the crowd.
Romney's polls, in this battleground state, look potentially devastating. He's trailing by 3 to 7 percent.
Romney backers like Dave Milne are worried.
"He's got to get a little more fire in the belly,” said Milne.
"He needs to bring up the economy,” suggests soccer mom Monica Cameron. “It's all about the economy
President Obama was in Virginia, pushing an elitist image of Romney in a TV ad run in Virginia.
Putting faces on the 47 percent of Americans Romney said he sees as dependent on government.
"I see hard-working Virginians,” the President said. “I see students trying to work their way through college, I see a whole bunch of veterans who served this country with distinction and bravery.”
The President was with students who typically pay no income tax, like many soldiers.
Amid the cheering veterans at the Romney rally was undecided voter Dave Klain who says Romney’s economic plan lacks details.
“And I've got some doubts that there's really any depth behind some of those,” Klain said, adding he’s not ready to commit to Romney.
And there's not much time left to change minds. Voters in another battleground, Iowa, began voting Thursday.
Absentee voting started in Virginia last Friday. Ballots being cast before the first of three presidential debates.
Meanwhile, GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan is returning to New Hampshire on Saturday. He’s scheduled to attend a rally at Pinkerton Academy in Derry.
Ryan last visited New Hampshire on Sept. 18.