BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Maryland takes center stage in the race for the White House. President Barack Obama swings through on a fundraising mission and the wife of Republican candidate Mitt Romney greets voters here.

Political reporter Pat Warren reports the president will spend part of the afternoon at the Hyatt in downtown Baltimore.

Maryland is important to both candidates for a couple of reasons– votes and its deep pockets.

This is an important stop for the candidates in both parties who are expecting Maryland to give something in return.

President Obama drew a crowd during his visit to Cambridge this year.

“This is our once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” one Cambridge resident said of the visit.

“I think it’s great. I think it’s absolutely wonderful,” said another.

While his Eastern Shore visit was all work, Tuesday’s visit is about the election.

“This will likely be the president’s only visit to Maryland in the course of the campaign. He will likely be spending his time in swing states,” Gov. Martin O’Malley said. “In Maryland, we supported the president overwhelmingly four years ago and not only that, we also sent a lot of volunteers to knock on doors in Virginia and Pennsylvania.”

O’Malley stood with the president in 2010, and he will stand with him again on Tuesday to shore up that support, which means, fundraising.

“We will likely raise over a million dollars tomorrow,” O’Malley said.

It is money that also brings Ann Romney on Tuesday to a fundraising event for Mitt Romney’s campaign hosted by former governor Bob Ehrlich, who serves as the state director of the Romney campaign.

“There are probably going to be a lot more Democratic donors in Maryland than there are Republican donors,” political analyst Matthew Crenson said. “But the Republican donors will probably be wealthier than the Democratic donors and that’s reflected in the donations the two candidates have gotten so far.”

Regardless of how the votes line up, campaign contributions are not to be ignored.

Obama is expected to attend a lunch at the Owings Mills home of a real estate developer Tuesday and later speak at the fundraiser at the Hyatt Regency Hotel at the Inner Harbor.

Tickets for the lunch event at the home of developer Josh Fidler cost from $10,000 to $50,000. Tickets for the event downtown will range from $250 to $10,000, and organizers hope to raise $1 million.

 The Romney fundraiser is at the BWI Marriott. Tickets for that event start at $1,000.

The president is scheduled to speak at 3:45 p.m.

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