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Maya Rodriguez / Eyewitness News
Email: mrodriguez@wwltv.com | Twitter: @mrodriguezwwl

NEW ORLEANS -- Within the next two weeks, Louisiana will host both presidential candidates in what has become a heated race to election day.

First up, former Massachusetts Governor and presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. He will make a brief stop in Baton Rouge on Monday, attending a luncheon for fundraisers.

'Usually, you would think he wouldn't come here, but obviously, he's not going to take any state for granted,' said UNO Political Science Professor Dr. Ed Chervenak.

Louisiana leans heavily Republican and Governor Bobby Jindal's name has been mentioned as a possible Vice-Presidential running mate. Jindal recently campaigned for Romney in several states. Romney last campaigned in the metro area in March during a stop in Metairie.

'I believe in the marketplace, I believe in consumers pursuing their own dreams. I believe in individuals being able to make their own choices,' Romney said at the time, as he campaigned against the Affordable Care Act.

However, political observers say it makes sense for Romney to make another trip to Louisiana.

'He just needs to show up,' Chervenak said. 'It's a good way for him to network with the local Republicans, because he's going to need their help if he's elected in November.'

President Obama is also showing up in New Orleans later this month, as he told Karen Swensen in an exclusive WWL-TV interview earlier in the week.

'You know, I've got to check it out because there's so many good places to eat there, I don't know what to choose from,' President Obama said. 'But I look forward to being back down there.'

The president is scheduled to speak at the National Urban League's conference in New Orleans on July 25th and hold a fundraiser in the city as well.

'The effort there is to motivate African American voters, to boost enthusiasm among African American voters, that seems to be lacking this election cycle,' Chervenak said. 'It's a major organization, national organization, headed up by former Mayor Marc Morial, and so this is an attempt for him to mobilize on the national scale.'

As for whether the presidential candidates will return to Louisiana again before the election, political observers say it is unlikely.

'It's kind of the dead season for the campaign right now -- not a lot of people are paying attention,' Chervenak said. 'So, as we really get into the nitty gritty of the campaign, post-August, they probably won't be visiting here. They'll be spending most of their attention on swing states.'

For now, though, Louisiana will get its moments of campaign attention from both candidates.

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