Battleground Ohio ready for election's end
Published Tuesday, November 6, 2012 2:07PM EST
PATASKALA, Ohio -- In battleground Ohio, relief the election is almost over.
If there was one thing the regulars at the Nutcracker restaurant could agree upon Tuesday, it was that the presidential campaign went on for far too long.
Like voters throughout Ohio, residents of this small town east of Columbus were inundated for months with ads, campaign mail and phone calls. Just Monday, both President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney stumped in central Ohio for the umpteenth time.
"Overbearing," said 77-year-old Ken Armentrout, a retired truck driver who stopped in to eat after voting for Romney on a bright, frosty day. "It was the same thing over and over."
"Annoying," added Jack Cruikshank, a 69-year-old retired heavy equipment operator who voted early for Romney. "They beat you over the head with it."
Sitting between them was 61-year-old Lewie Hoskinson, a retired city worker who his friends claim is the only Obama supporter in the town of 14,000 souls. "I'm sure there are others, but I'm the only one who will admit it," Hoskins said, to belly laughs from his buddies.
Pataskala and rural Licking County are so Republican that Hoskins twice had his Obama yard sign vandalized. Still, Hoskinson said he supported the president because he seemed more in touch with the working man and because he engineered the auto bailout, a big deal in a state where that industry looms large.
His friends acknowledged they weren't exactly thrilled with Romney but said Obama hadn't done enough to get the economy moving.
And on that subject, these Republicans and their Democratic companion could also find consensus.
In Ohio and the rest of the country, they said, this Election Day was still all about the economy.