Published: Oct 18, 2012 4:41 PM EDT
Updated: Oct 19, 2012 6:32 AM EDT

PARMA, Ohio (AP) - Lest anyone forget the importance of Ohio's white, working-class voters, President Barack Obama is sending a reminder.

Make that two reminders: Bill Clinton and Bruce Springsteen.

With less than three weeks until Election Day, the president dispatched the middle-class heroes to Ohio to rally support among the critical voting bloc in this tightly contested Midwestern swing state.

Ohio is at the center of both Obama and Republican Mitt Romney's campaign strategies. Winning the state would put Obama on the brink of reaching the required 270 Electoral College votes. Romney has fewer pathways to victory than the president and almost certainly needs Ohio's 18 electoral votes if he hopes to claim victory.

Whites without a college education made up half of voters in Ohio in the last two presidential elections.