Mitt Romney

Ohio's 18 members of the Electoral College - all pledged to vote for President Obama and Vice President Biden - meet at noon Monday at the Statehouse in Columbus to do their duty.

Lists of 18 electors were submitted by both political parties before the election. Since Obama won Ohio on Nov. 6 with 50.7 percent of the vote, the 18 people submitted by the Democrats will take their seats in the Ohio Senate chamber Monday. 

Now that the votes are officially counted, it’s time to empty the notebook on the 2012 election and turn the page. Here are  some parting thoughts:

Big Blue: One of the enduring myths of American politics, if you talk to many pundits and politicos around the country, is that Cincinnati is rock-solid Republican country.

Maybe they confuse the city with the county and the region as a whole, which definitely has a red due. Or maybe it goes back to the fact that the Taft political dynasty came from the Queen City.

The only relatively close ballot issue in Hamilton County in the Nov. 6 election - Issue 4, which sets Cincinnati city council terms at four years instead of two - picked up votes in the official vote count released this morning and passed easily.

President Obama, too, picked up votes and widened his lead over Republican Mitt Romney in Hamilton County.

When all the provisional ballots and overseas and military ballots were added, Issue 4 passed with 51.4 percent of the vote. The unofficial election night total had the issue passing with 51 percent.

Ohio Democrats were feeling pretty good Wednesday morning, once the votes had been tallied Tuesday night.

They managed to edge out a win in the Buckeye State for President Obama – 50.18 percent of the unofficial vote count for Obama, 48.18 percent for Mitt Romney.

And they managed to get Ohio’s Democratic senator, Sherrod Brown, re-elected over Republican challenger Josh Mandel, despite an avalanche of Super PAC money blanketing the state with TV ads trying to tear Brown down.

Four years ago, politicos on both sides were stunned when the formerly rock-solid Hamilton County was won by Barack Obama by a margin of 29,683 votes, taking 54 percent of the county to 46 percent for GOP nominee John McCain.

This year, the GOP and the Romney-Ryan campaign rolled the dice on winning back Hamilton County, one of the handful of linchpin counties that can make or break a presidential campaign in Ohio.

Again, though, they lost.

The race between President Obama and GOP nominee Mitt Romney in the key battleground state of Ohio is a toss-up, according to the final Ohio Poll released Monday morning by the University of Cincinnati's Institute for Policy Research.

The poll had support for Obama at 50 percent, while Romney's support stood at 48.5 percent. Another 1.5 percent of those polled said they would vote for another candidate.

Electing Mitt Romney would be a return to policies that have failed in the past and “crashed our economy,’’ President Obama told a full house crowd of 13,500 at the University of Cincinnati’s Fifth Third Arena Sunday night.

The highly charged-up crowd, that was entertained before and after the president’s speech by legendary recording artist Stevie Wonder, roared its approval when Obama appealed to them to help him win the election that takes place on Tuesday and appears now to be too close to call.

Here we go again.

We’ve seen this movie before.

Eight years ago on election night, President George W. Bush was sweating it out in the White House, watching states turn red or blue in what was obviously to be a close race with Democrat John Kerry.

Ohio’s returns kept going back and forth – Kerry in the lead, then Bush, then Kerry again.
The Bush team was sweating bullets. It was going to come down to Ohio.

Finally, late into the night – Ohio was called for Bush.

Golf  legend Jack Nicklaus will be the draw Sunday morning when the Commit to Mitt Express bus joins tail

gaters outside Paul Brown Stadium before the Bengals game.

Nicklaus, who will travel the state Sunday stumping for the Romney-Ryan ticket, will be in parking lot E of Paul Brown Stadium at 10:30 a.m. Joining him for the get-out-the-vote event will be Hamilton County GOP chairman Alex Triantafilou, Hamilton County commissioners Greg Hartmann and Chris Monzel, and Hamilton County prosecutor Joe Deters.

Michael Keating

Before a fired-up, massive crowd that waited hours to hear him, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney told a crowd of 30,000 at West Chester’s The Square of Center Pointe that he represents “real change” and that he needs them to help him win the key state of Ohio Tuesday.

“Your state is the one I am counting on,’’ said Romney, who trails Barack Obama by a small margin in some Ohio polls.  “This is the state we have to win.”

Four years ago, then-senator Barack Obama held a rally at the University of Cincinnati on the Sunday before the election, his final stop in Cincinnati before going on to win Ohio and the White House two days later.

This year, Obama - now locked in a tight re-election campaign where Ohio will play a crucial role - will return to the same Sunday for a rally at UC's Fifth Third Arena in what is likely to be his final campaign appearance in the area before Tuesday's election.

President Obama - who had originally planned to be in Cincinnati Wednesday - will hold a campaign event here Sunday as part of a weekend push through key battleground states.

And First Lady Michelle Obama is planning on a rally Saturday afternoon on the campus of Miami University in Oxford, the alma mater of GOP running mate Paul Ryan.

President Obama holds a two percentage point lead over Republican Mitt Romney in the Ohio Poll released Wednesday afternoon by the University of Cincinnati's Institute for Policy Research.

That is well within the poll's margin of error of plus or minus 2.9 percent, meaning the race in Ohio is extremely close and the end result is a toss-up.

The poll had Obama with 48 percent support to 46 percent for Romney.

President Obama, who suspended personal campaigning this week while he dealt with the aftermath of the storm that devastated large parts of the east coast, will return to the campaign trail Friday in the key battleground state of Ohio, where the polls show him in a dead heat with Mitt Romney.

There is no official word yet from the Obama-Biden campaign on re-scheduling the president's rally that was scheduled for this morning at Duke Energy Convention Center in Cincinnati. That was canceled by the White House Tuesday, but could well be re-scheduled.

Friday night - only three days before the election - Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are bringing their campaign to Butler County, one of the deepest mines of GOP votes in the Buckeye State, for a rally in West Chester.

The rally - which also features the presidential candidate's wife, Ann Romney - will be at The Square at Unon Centre, 9285 Centre Point Drive, West Chester.

The doors open at 4:30 p.m., with the program set to begin at 7 p.m.

It is a ticketed event. Tickets are available at