President Barack Obama, pictured speaking at Library Mall in Madison for a 2010 rally, will return to the city Thursday to appear on Bascom Hill. In 2010, Obama became the first sitting president since Harry S. Truman to visit the University of Wisconsin campus.[/media-credit]

For the second time in two weeks, President Barack Obama will visit Wisconsin, making a stop at Bascom Hill in Madison Thursday for a grassroots event, according to a statement from his campaign Saturday.

Obama’s campaign released a statement about the event Saturday, and in a tweet early Monday morning, the University of Wisconsin chapter of Students for Barack Obama announced the president would speak at Bascom Hill with the gates opening at 12 p.m.

Further details were unavailable.

Obama will visit the state the day after the first presidential debate at the University of Denver, postponing a visit to Cleveland, Ohio for a grassroots event, according to the statement.

“President Obama has been traveling all over the county to spread his message of economic security for middle class families from the middle out, not the top down,” Gillian Morris, Obama for Wisconsin spokesperson, said in an email to The Badger Herald. “We are excited he is returning to Wisconsin.”

Republican Party of Wisconsin spokesperson Nathan Conrad said in an email to The Badger Herald that the recent number of visits by the Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama and Vice President Joe Biden show how close the race has come for Wisconsin’s 10 electoral votes.

“His campaign is throwing heaps of money onto the air in a thinly veiled attempt to make the people of Wisconsin forget just how dire our economic situation has become,” Conrad said. “We have full faith that the people of Wisconsin will see the error of their ways in 2008 and vote for fiscal sanity’s return to Washington on Nov. 6.”

Jeff Snow, University of Wisconsin College Republicans chairman, said the visit shows Wisconsin is within striking distance for Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney and his running mate, Paul Ryan, R-Janesville.

He said whenever an incumbent president has to visit a state he won by 14 points last election, it shows he is in danger of losing the state in the next election.

“Romney and Ryan clearly have a great shot at winning Wisconsin,” Snow said. “When he has to come back to Madison to rev up his base, it shows his base is disillusioned.”

However, Chris Hoffman, UW College Democrats chair, said polls throughout the state show that Obama is in the lead.

He added if Obama was concerned about losing the state in November, he would focus on visiting other parts of the state, not his strong Democratic base in Madison.

“He’s coming here because he wants to help fire up the state and remind his supporters why they want to vote for him,” Hoffman said.

Obama last visited Wisconsin on Sept. 22, delivering remarks at a grassroots event in Milwaukee with Democratic Senate Candidate and U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin, D-Madison. According to his campaign website, the event drew 18,000 people.

The visit also marks Obama’s first visit to Madison since Sept. 2010, when he became the first sitting president since Harry S. Truman to visit the UW campus, drawing a crowd of 26,000.

A Sept. 20 Public Policy Poll showed Obama leading Romney in the state 52 to 45 with a margin of error of 3.4 percent. A Sept. 20 Rasmussen poll showed Obama leading Romney 49 to 46 percent with a margin of error of 4.5 percent.