Here in Battleground Ohio, we’re hunkered down. For months, we’ve been battered by the attack ads, the ceaseless motorcades, and the haphazard, inexplicable appearance of a TV anchor or minor celebrity.
But now, with the end of the campaign in sight, it looks like the fight over Battleground Ohio is going to get even more fierce — and that is a scary proposition for those of us in the field of fire. The ad spending in the Buckeye State has been nothing short of extraordinary, as the National Journal‘s ongoing chart indicates, and it obviously is growing. The reason is that the roster of “swing” states seems to be narrowing, but Ohio remains squarely in the crosshairs. With Mitt Romney’s recent surge, the Republican ticket is increasingly focused on Ohio as a state that might be the difference maker, and the Obama campaign is doing whatever it can to hold onto our state’s precious electoral votes.
So here in Battleground Ohio, we’re steeled for the next wave of attack.
We recognize that if you are going to walk outside, you have to be prepared to dart across a no-man’s land of pollsters, candidates flipping burgers at your favorite diner, random campaign “surrogates” cluttering every street corner, and insistent campaign volunteers. We understand that the next call on our phone will almost certainly be part of a broad-based robocall assault and that the next commercial on the football game will be part of a new offensive. We know that we can’t express any political opinion without catching some serious flak from friends and colleagues who support the other guy. We’re tired and shellshocked, and when you walk down the street you see fellow citizens with that grim-faced, wild-eyed, had-enough-with-campaigns-and-ready-to-snap-at-any-moment look about them. We just want the fighting to stop so we can be relieved of our hellish duty and go back to our normal lives.
I’d say we’re all in our foxholes, but some of my Ohioan friends on the left might take offense at being associated with a TV news channel they despise.