Northern Virginians should prepare themselves for a busy Thursday full of campaign stops.

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney will hold a 11 a.m. rally Thursday at Van Dyck Park in Fairfax, his campaign confirmed.

Later in the day, First Lady Michelle Obama will speak at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg.

Nearly 1 in every 7 Virginians resides in Fairfax County, an area President Obama won handily in 2008 but Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell captured in 2009. In the key battleground state of Virginia, the outcome in Fairfax and neighboring Prince William and Loudoun counties is likely to determine the race for the state -- and possibly the nation.

It's Romney's second trip to Virginia in less than a week. The candidate was in Virginia Beach and Richmond on Saturday. Rep. Paul Ryan, Romney's runningmate, also stopped in Richmond the day after the Republican National Convention ended.

President Obama visited Norfolk on Sept. 4, the day the Democratic National Convention started.

The latest poll, from before the conventions, shows Obama and Romney running neck and neck in Virginia.

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