Obama And Romney Back In Ohio For Final Weekend

Superstorm Sandy ended up blowing the presidential campaigns out of Ohio temporarily, but both major party candidates were back in Ohio Friday. A Franklin County common pleas judge has finally cleared the name of an southeast Ohio man who spent more than five years on death row for the deaths of his teenage stepdaughter and her fiance. A former treasurer to more than a dozen Ohio charter schools has been sentenced to two years in prison for embezzling more than $470,000 in federal education funds for four schools over six years. Exotic animal owners in Ohio are facing a Monday deadline to register their animals. Early voting has been big this time around. Secretary of State Jon Husted says more than 1.2 million of Ohio’s nearly 8 million registered voters have cast ballots, either after requesting ballots by mail or casting ballots in person.

Ohio has continued to be at the top of the spending lists for both the campaigns for president and the Superpacs, and the US Senate race in Ohio continues to be one of the most expensive in the country. There's been little room for other candidates or the two statewide issues - and there's been no no spending, no ads and virtually no talk about Issue 1. It’s a question brought before Ohioans every 20 years, and asks them to decide if they want a convention to revise, alter or amend the Ohio Constitution. It’s such a routine, below-the-radar issue that there aren’t even arguments for or against it on the Secretary of State’s website, as there are for other statewide issues. But the state’s top elected officials are hoping Ohioans will vote against it, and instead let those appointed to the state’s Constitutional Modernization Commission tinker with the document. House Speaker Bill Batchelder has been making the case against Issue 1. But there are others – conservatives and liberals – who want to see Issue 1 pass and a constitutional convention convened. Among them is Tea Party activist and Columbus attorney Maurice Thompson, the head of the 1851 Center for Constitutional Law, an offshoot of the conservative Buckeye Institute.

The latest – and perhaps last – Quinnipiac/CBS/New York Times swing state poll was released this week, and showed President Obama with a five point lead over Mitt Romney. The Ohio Poll from the University of Cincinnati showed the Democrat with a two point lead. Since we couldn’t follow the campaigns around this week, as we like to the week before Election Day, we'll talk to the people who have been trailing them for months – the Statehouse News Bureau, Jo Ingles and Bill Cohen.

Ohioans have been living the battleground state lifestyle for months. For the next few days, a few tourists are coming from overseas to Ohio just for that experience, led by former BBC and New York Times reporter Nicholas Wood. His Political Tours will be traveling to Ohio and Washington DC now through Election Day. The Ohio leg of the trip is led by veteran reporter Bill Hershey, recently retired from the Dayton Daily News.

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