Oct. 28 - U.S. President Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney are running about dead even in Ohio, the state that could decide presidential race. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
Battleground Ohio. The state that could well decide the Presidential election. Polls show U.S. President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney are running about dead even in the midwestern state. Herb Asher of Ohio State University gives Obama the edge. (SOUNDBITE) (English) PROFESSOR HERB ASHER SAYING: "As of today I would still give Obama a small lead in Ohio but anything is possible based upon turn out, The breakdown in the Ohio vote in part reflects regions and in part reflects industry. In coal country, Romney has the edge. (SOUNDBITE) (English) JOHN BOYLE, MINE FOREMAN SAYING : "This current Administration seems to be strangling us right now with these regulations and we really need to vote for Mitt Romney" Obama does not buy it. (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA, SAYING: "Now he is running around acting like he is Mr. Coal. Come on. Come on. You know that is not on the level. Does anybody actually look at that guy and think, 'Hey he is really into coal?" While coal is key in parts of the state, it is the auto industry that Democrats are banking on, says Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman who says Obama's auto bailout saved thousands of Ohio jobs. (SOUNDBITE) (English) MICHAEL COLEMAN MAYOR OF COLUMBUS, OHIO SAYING: "He saved the auto industry. This people don't forget In Ohio we don't forget. If somebody helped them they don't forget and they remain loyal. So he has a lot of strength in that area." Ohio election officials say more than 400,000 Ohio voters have already cast ballots out of close to 8 million registered voters.