Friday, October 26, 2012

Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan feed off Americana vibe at rally in North Canton

NORTH CANTON, Ohio — An autumn chill. Live country music. A sea of blue jeans and ball caps flowing into nearby neighborhoods.

Lately Mitt Romney's outdoor rallies in Ohio have taken on a distinct feel, sound and look as his crowds grow in size and the weather lends itself to a high school football atmosphere.

The Republican nominee for president feeds off this Americana vibe, and Friday night at Hoover High School was no exception. An audience of 8,500 gathered around the school's baseball diamond to hear Romney and his running mate, U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan.

Supporters left with blasts of fireworks -- and blasts at President Barack Obama -- ringing in their ears.

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Sunday, October 7, 2012

Early voting adds intensity and pageantry to the Obama and Romney ground games in Ohio

On Tuesday, the first day, Mitt Romney dispatched a bus filled with phone-banking volunteers to southwest Ohio. Meanwhile, the first lady stumped for her husband in Cincinnati.

On the second day, President Barack Obama sent a bus, this one carrying a couple of Democratic surrogates who collected students at Oberlin College and Baldwin Wallace University and drove them to county boards of elections.

On the third, Romney called to thank a local canvasser who knocked on the campaign's millionth door in Ohio.

On the fourth, the Romney phone bank on wheels reached the northeast corner of the state. And Obama, fresh off his first debate with the Republican challenger, flew in for a rally at Cleveland State University's soccer field.

This is presidential politics, battleground-style, in the age of early voting.

You thought "The 12 Days of Christmas" was a whirlwind of festive excess? Multiply that by three, then add Air Force One, a few well-appointed buses and an army of raw-knuckled, clipboard-toting field workers. In Ohio this year, the 35 days of early voting have injected unrestrained intensity and pageantry into the ground games of both campaigns.

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