Why Ohio watched so closely
Everyone keeps talking about how Ohio is so important in the election. Why is that?
There are several reasons why Ohio holds a position of prominence in presidential campaigns. Among them:
• Ohio typically votes for the eventual presidential winner. It has done so in 25 of the past 27 elections since 1904, missing only in 1944 when it went for Republican Thomas Dewey over Franklin Roosevelt and in 1960 when it went for Republican Richard Nixon over John Kennedy.
• Ohio, historically, has been a Republican-leaning state, and no Republican candidate has ever won the presidency without carrying Ohio.
• In this presidential election, Ohio is one of the eight closely contested states that could go either way. By most accounts, the others are Florida, Virginia, North Carolina, Colorado, Nevada, Iowa and New Hampshire.
In order to reach the 270 electoral votes needed to become president, Republican Mitt Romney probably would have to win the other seven if he loses Ohio. This assumes the states that solidly favor Romney or President Barack Obama do not change course before Nov. 6.
Many running for president
In every U.S. presidential election, besides the two front-runners, there have always been minor candidates. So who are they?
There are more than 20 candidates for president who will be on at least one state ballot. Just four will be on the ballots of states that produce the 270 or more electoral votes needed to win. They are:
• President Barack Obama, Democrat.
• Mitt Romney, Republican.
• Gary Johnson, Libertarian, on the ballot in 48 states so far. He's the former governor of New Mexico.
• Jill Stein, Green Party, on the ballot in 39 states. She's a Massachusetts doctor.
Others who will appear on the ballot in Florida, according to an official with the Department of State Division of Elections:
• Stewart Alexander, owner of a cleaning company from California, Socialist Party.
• Ross Anderson, former mayor of Salt Lake City, Justice Party.
• Andre Barnett, entrepreneur from New York, Reform Party USA.
• Roseanne Barr, comedian from Hawaii, Peace and Freedom Party.
• Virgil Goode, former Virginia congressman, Constitution Party.
• Tom Hoefling, conservative political activist from Iowa, America's Party.
• Peta Lindsay, student in California, Party for Socialism and Liberation.
• Tom Stevens, attorney from New York, Objectivist Party.
Florida also will count write-in votes for the following candidates: David Byrne, Andrew Coniglio, Richard Duncan, Stephen Durham, Erin Magee and Jill Reed.