Republican Pence to hold rallies Monday in battleground Ohio

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Republican vice presidential candidate Mike Pence is starting the week with campaign stops in Ohio.

Pence is scheduled to hold rallies in Mason and Columbus on Monday afternoon.

After a lull last month, high-level campaigning has accelerated in the perennial battleground state.

Republican Donald Trump campaigned here Thursday, while President Barack Obama and former president Bill Clinton also followed Democrat Hillary Clinton’s return to the state last week.

The state’s role this year shapes up to be potential spoiler for Trump’s chances of reaching 270 electoral votes.

While Hillary Clinton appears to have paths to the total needed for election without Ohio, the state’s 18 votes are considered crucial for Trump.