Romney has crisscrossed the state, pressing his case that he will create jobs and growth by cutting taxes and government. His campaign points to rising numbers of Ohioans on food stamps and criticizes the health care overhaul. Running mate Paul Ryan, with Ohio ties from his Miami University college days, has hit several college campuses and also made stops emphasizing that he is an experienced hunter in a state loaded with hunting and fishing enthusiasts.
Ohio was hit hard by the national decline in manufacturing jobs, but the Obama-pushed auto industry bailout has helped some plants rebound. Republicans such as House Speaker John Boehner, of the northern Cincinnati suburb of West Chester, say GOP Gov. John Kasich deserves credit for an unemployment rate that's been running below the nation's.
The different vantage points on the economy as well as the variety of voting pockets have contributed to heavy TV spending to try to sway opinions. The campaigns and outside groups already had spent more than $141 million on TV ads with barely a month left before Election Day.
Dennis Grimm, a construction worker finishing a soft drink after lunch, said voters might as well give Romney a chance, because Obama hasn't worked out. Rod Davis, a truck driver on disability relaxing on a park bench just yards away in Cincinnati, said he isn't happy with the state of the economy but figures it's better to give Obama more time.
Grimm, 53, who is white, said: "I'd probably have to try Romney for four years. We've already seen what we got with Obama." Davis, 49, and black, thinks the economy is still weak, but "I think what Obama is doing could work. But it's going to take a lot longer." To him, it would be a mistake to "start over" with a Republican president.
After yet another presidential campaign of heavy attention, they are among Ohioans who are feeling a bit weary from being in a swing state.
"I get tired of all the commercials," Grimm said.
"They say the exact opposite," said Davis. "The back and forth..."
Just like Ohio.
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