(CNN) – In the final two weeks before Election Day, the presidential race is coming down to just a few states–with Ohio as perhaps the most contested battleground.
For Mitt Romney, the Buckeye State may be even more crucial, as no Republican has ever won the White House without carrying Ohio.
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A number of newspapers in the state published their endorsements within the last week – two siding with President Obama and the other with Romney. The largest paper, The Cleveland Plain Dealer, rolled out support for Obama but with far less enthusiasm than in 2008.
The paper said Obama has fumbled and "often been his own worst enemy," but he has the potential to continue economic growth after leading "the nation back from the brink of depression."
The paper acknowledged the obstacles Obama inherited when he took office and said Obama's failings and lacking "vision for the many challenges that still confront America" in this campaign almost led the paper to endorse GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney.
"This litany of missed opportunities, as much as the grim economic statistics that have become America's unacceptable new normal, left us sorely tempted to endorse Gov. Romney this fall," the editorial board wrote. "Like President Obama, he is a man of public achievement and private honor. He was born to wealth and power, but used those advantages well."
On the other hand, Obama made the "unpopular but gutsy" decision to further bail out automakers Chrysler and General Motors, significant players in the Ohio economy. "Romney," the newspaper wrote, "urged the companies to file for traditional bankruptcy – at a time when private-sector credit was frozen even for healthy firms."
According to a Quinnipiac University/CBS News survey released Monday morning, 50% of likely voters in Ohio say they support the president, with 45% backing Romney. Obama's five point lead is right at the edge of the survey's sampling error. Throughout the fall and summer, polls in Ohio have shown a tight race, some with a slight advantage for Obama.
Ohio has 18 electoral votes. Both candidates and their campaigns have made frequent stops in both states in the weeks before Election Day. Vice President Joe Biden heads to the Buckeye State on Monday for two events and Obama campaigns there this week.
The Akron Beacon Journal of Ohio printed more supportive ink for Obama. In fact, the editorial sharply defended the president against critics.
"Disappointment burdens the president's pursuit of a second term. Yet he shouldn't be measured merely against his soaring words. What matters are his real accomplishments and the direction he proposes for the years ahead. On both those counts, he has succeeded far more than his critics contend," the paper read.
While the editorial board criticized the president for lacking "political skills" and failing to "address more directly the battered housing market," the board wrote that Obama has set solid measures in place.
"What is telling about a presidency is its tilt, its direction, spirit and priorities. Thus, to those who argue the president lacks a plan for a second term: Look at the foundation that has been set. He has used the levers of government to bolster the economy, investing in education, innovation and health care, understanding the essential role of the public sector in competitiveness," the paper wrote.
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Romney, meanwhile, picked up an endorsement from the Columbus Dispatch on Sunday.
"After nearly four years of economic stagnation, massive unemployment, record-setting debt and government intrusions into the economy that have paralyzed the private sector, the United States needs a new direction," the Dispatch editorial said. "For this reason, The Dispatch urges voters to choose Republican Mitt Romney for president in the Nov. 6 election."
The Ohio paper's editorial proceeded to lay out the results of Obama's four years in the White House in bullet point form, ticking off a series of economic woes from unemployment to the poverty rate still plaguing the country.
The Dispatch, which endorsed 2008 GOP presidential nominee John McCain, said it "warned" readers last cycle of the dangers of an Obama presidency.
"Just as we warned four years ago, this master orator has pushed America toward a European-style social democracy," the Florida paper wrote. "We don't question Obama's motives. The president sincerely believes in the inviolable ability of the federal government to make all things right. But Americans should see that this top-down approach doesn't work."
"Romney, in contrast, would capitalize on individuals' ingenuity, not Washington directives."
The Dayton Daily News and the Toledo Blade, which both supported Obama in 2008, have yet to make their endorsements. The Cincinnati Enquirer has also not printed an endorsement. It backed McCain four years ago.
- CNN's Ashley Killough, Gregory Wallace and Dana Davidsen contributed to this report.
Wasn't it the polls in Ohio that said Kerry would win in '04? Even the exit polls said Kerry would win in '04, not sure who they poll in Ohio but I don't trust their polling.
Wow first can you lie any more? Obama's first two year in office he had complete democratic control of the House and the Senate. Any law they wanted passed they passed. The republicans in Congress could not do anything. Until the 2010 elections that was the case. You point of 4 years of republican's stopping Obama's plans is wrong.
Also your point about the lack of job bills passed since the 2010 elections is missing an important fact. Both parts of Congress must pass a bill for it to become law. Harry Reid stops any bill he does not like from coming to the Senate floor for a vote. Since Harry Reid wants to keep the false belief that the House has not passed any jobs bills, he stops any bill from coming to the Senate for a vote. That one person is stopping job bills from ven being discussed and voted on. If those bills had been passed by a democratic House he would have brought them to the Senate floor. Who is really playing partisan politics here?
The Russians are trying to influence election. Google this "Russian Tsar Bomba" At 50 megatons, it can do a whole lot of damage. By comparison, the Hiroshima "Little Boy" was only 15 kilotons. The Tsar Bomba is more than 3000 times more powerful than Hiroshima and Nagasaki, conservatives. The Russians are signaling readiness to Romney.
Today the San Antonio Express New indorsed Obama/Biden.....thats San Antonio Texas Yall...but it don't mean nothing cause Texas is still heavy republican...except for me and a few other inlightened ones...........Obama/Biden 2012.
Mitt Romney had the job for real that fictional character Gordon Gecko had in the movie "Wall Street:". Romney is a plutocrat who only cares about the bottom line. He shifts his positions when he is criticized by republicans for stating his position, like a verbal mea culpa, and then retreats and says, "well I really didn't mean that".
When he bad mouths foreign leaders, there is no out–only trouble that could bring about lack of cooperation from the world community when he puts his foot in his mouth–Like GW Bush. His unwisely chosen words can effect us all here at home. We cannot manage problems at home and manage newly created problems abroad because of a reproach or insult. That would require super-human abilities. President Obama is the only one i've seen come close to that in the last 13 years. Romney is monolithic in his thinking. He does not think on multiple levels with consideration of all opinions or input on any situation. That quality alone is what makes him SO DANGEROUS.
President Obama 2.0 – because our lives depend on it.
A bunch of left wing rags endorse Obama. Nothing to see here, move along.
It has been stated that people are dependent on the very wealthy for their jobs and income and thereby even for their homes, living and life style, almost as if owing loyalty. That is the “trickle down” theory but what is reality and who really benefits who? Actually “the money” is simply after profits with that being their only real motivation, completely substantiated in their shipping jobs overseas and cutting jobs to increase profits – there really is no obligation there. Now how do the working people benefit the wealthy and their profits? Well they spend the money that buys the products and creates the profits and they work the jobs to create, sell and service the products that provide the profits. Actually everyone is dependent on everyone else to some degree and what is best is a honestly level playing field with fair play so that everyone benefits ... and not ever just a concentration on catering to “the money”, allowing their run-away greed, gross dishonesty and self-indulgence that slants the economy in that one direction – like what we have experienced and have seen pushed by “puppet” politicians serving “the money” for their support. Corporations aren’t people but they are literally composed of numerous workers doing their jobs to create the profits that “the money” enjoys and those people deserve fair consideration and not to just be taken for granted.
On what basis do people vote for Romney. He has taken at least 3 positions on every single issue. The only thing that could not be changed is the color of his skin and he managed to change that too for the univision interview. Do any of Romney's supporters know what they are getting from his presidency? How can they possibly know when Mitt himself doesnt know? He just farts depending on the direction in which the wind is blowing.
I don't always side with either party, but America has gotten significantly weaker over the last 4 years. Did anyone see 2016 Obama's America? I'm sure not everything on there was true, but it scared the poo out of me, personally. The part of the movie talking about the parts of China and Russia that have just BOOMED after stopping communism and becoming more like America economically...I wanted to just stand up and yell, 'ding ding ding!' in the theater. That, and the stat I heard that the 10 poorest large cities in America have liberals leading them. Not like 9 out of 10, but all ten. That, to me, is all you need to hear about why you shouldn't vote for Obama. Say what you want about Romney, but at least he knows how to make money and not just spend it. Just my opinion
Julia, You're clearly a millionaire who stands to gain from Romney becoming president (although dont be too sure of that too). Otherwise there is no logical reason for a working class person to vote for him. The bucket of deductions is a euphemism for a limit on deductions that will hurt every working class family. Even that figure is conveniently kept at a hypothetical 25000.
Why would the opinion of one person who happens to own a newspaper matter?
@ConservativeWoman He's still better than Obama, because we know what we will get with Obama. Just more of the same failed policies.
chupacabra – I'm with you. Texas is as red as it gets. I had a conversation with a woman on foodstamps who was voting Republican because she feared that "Obama will take her money and give to the poor". I couldnt get myself to tell her that she did not have any money and she was poor so why worry. The mental conditioning of most people in Texas to vote Republican against their own self interest is something to behold.
Just as we warned four years ago, this master orator has pushed –the master orator. Are these people living in the US. The rethuglicans caused this problem and these morons think we can get out of it in four years. It took many years to create, but unfortunately we have a country of dunces who can't make up their mind from one minute to another.
I have worked hard on my job,and contributed to medicare for 35 years through my payroll taxes.Now,at 53 years old,I am learning that Romney/Ryan will turn medicare into a voucher system for those under 55 years old.I will eventually be paying $ 6500.00 more per year ($541 more per month) under Romney's plan.This will destroy me financially.Why anybody 55 or younger would vote for Romney is beyond me.Even the AARP does not support Romney or his plans. Although,I am sure Romney will have a lot of support from billionaires and Exxon Mobil,who will receive huge tax breaks.