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What to watch for this Election Day

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It all comes down to today.

Months of campaigning, billions of dollars, thousands of ads and the constant stream of Obama and Romney into our community has made for one of the tightest presidential races in modern history. For the most part, the polls say it's a tossup. And today could be one of the most exciting Election Day's we've ever seen.

So for those keeping an eye on today's action, here are some indicators that could give us an idea of where the race is heading:

  • Barack Obama won Hamilton County four years ago by more than 30,000 votes, marking the first time a Democrat had carried the county since Lyndon Johnson in 1964. There's little doubt Republican Mitt Romney will cut into that margin, but if Romney carries Hamilton County the prospects of him winning Ohio greatly increase.
  • Polling shows the race a dead heat in Ohio. The University of Cincinnati's Ohio Poll, released Monday, found 50 percent of likely voters in the state favoring Obama and 48.5 percent backing Romney. A Columbus Dispatch poll, released Sunday, was nearly the same, with Obama at 50 percent and Romney with 48 percent. Both polls were within the margin of error.
  • In many battleground states Obama polls poorly among blue collar makes; he's trails Romney by 30 points in Florida and Virginia. But Obama is virtually tied with Romney in Ohio, mainly on the strength of his support of the auto industry bailout. It's a voting bloc/demographic that could provide a big boost to Obama in Ohio.
  • Polls close in Indiana at 6 p.m. If Republican Richard Mourdock, a Tea Party favorite, loses to Democrat Joe Donnelly, it could be a long night for the Republicans.
  • Likewise, watch Virginia; if Romney does well in the northern suburbs near Washington, Obama is in trouble. Four years ago, Obama was the first Democrat to carry the state since 1964, so history favors Romney.
  • In Florida, keep an eye on Hillsborough County, the Tamp-St. Petersburg area. In past races it has been a bellwether for the rest of the state.
  • Some polling released Monday and over the weekend indicated Pennsylvania is in play. Earlier considered a solid blue state, if Romney can eek out a win in Pennsylvania it relieves the pressure of must win in Ohio. There are, however, some polling that still shows Obama with a strong lead. Pennsylvania is definitely a state to watch tonight, yet the trend favors Obama. The GOP hasn't carried Pennsylvania since 1988.
  • The other tossups: Ohio, Florida, Virginia, New Hampshire, Iowa, Wisconsin, Colorado and Nevada.
  • In Kentucky, Romney will post a big win. But the battle for the Kentucky House of Representatives has been intriguing. Republicans believe they can capture the chamber for the first time since the 1920s. If the GOP does prevail, the Republicans will hold the House and Senate.

 

Patrick Crowley spent 27 years as journalist, including 17 years as a political reporter and columnist for The Cincinnati Enquirer. He also wrote for Newsweek, National Journal, Congress Daily and Voter.com. In 2010 he and Jay Fossett, a lawyer and the former City Manager of Covington, launched Strategic Advisers, LLC, a government affairs and public relations firm based in Fort Mitchell, Ky. Crowley lives in Fort Thomas, Ky.
 

Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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