Here I am in Ohio, seemingly ground zero for the election. It's almost as if I need to add 15 minutes to every drive, to account for the time spent waiting for the motorcade to pass.
President Obama is currently leading in Ohio according to the most recent polls. That's the reality. But perception and reality are sometimes different. Today (Sunday October 28), Ohioans are being exposed to more of the perception than the reality. My thought is to use this to motivate like-minded people to get out and vote.
The actual polling data from Ohio has been discussed on several other diaries, so I won't do it again here. President Obama is leading in Ohio right now.
However, here are the headines that Ohioans are waking up to today (Sunday, October 28) as they crack open their major Ohio newspapers:
The Plain Dealer (Cleveland)'s headline states: Ohio Presidential Poll: Presidential race in battleground Ohio is dead even
The Dispatch (Columbus)'s headline states: Romney closes Obama’s lead to split Ohio
The Blade (Toledo)'s headline states: Romney tied with Obama in Ohio poll
The Enquirer (Cincinnati)'s headline states: Ohio poll: Tight race now even tighter, with the sub-headine stating "Our ongoing poll shows the president's numbers have shrunk, as Romney and Obama draw dead even among Ohio's likely voters."
The Daily News (Dayton)'s headline states: Dead heat: Obama, Romney tied in Ohio
These are all headlines from today. For lower-information voters, especially those that may not read much past the headline, there's kind of a reality-distortion field going in Ohio right now.
So when I speak with my friends and colleagues who I believe support President Obama but are not paying as much attention to the election as most people (and who are sometimes lukewarm about getting out and voting), I plan to use the perception and not argue against it. I'm not going to argue against the headlines, but will rather say, "We always knew that this would be a close race, and it's very clear right now that every vote in Ohio will count. You absolutely need to vote in this election, it's the most important thing you will do in 2012."