News / USA

'Battleground States' Voters Head to Polls

In the days before the November 6 election, both President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney shuttled across the country in a final campaign blitz to key battleground states, including Ohio, Iowa, Florida, Virginia, and Wisconsin.  While the election may determine a new Congress and the presidency, voters have lingering concerns about the economy.

Retiree Terry Schmidt, who lives in President Obama's home state of Illinois, says he and his wife have a lot invested in this election.

"We don't get two or three elections to recover before it's too late for us to benefit from an improved economy," said Schmidt.

Schmidt adds that he hopes President Obama can build on modest job growth and economic gains if he wins his bid for a second term.

"What we're hoping for is a continued turnaround because everything we have is invested in the economy and when the economy tanked, the things that we were counting on for retirement were reduced by 30 or 40 percent, and they are ever so slowly coming back," Schmidt added.

What this election boils down to for Jennifer Alston is her children's education, and future.

"People aren't focusing on what's really going on in the streets and neighborhoods," said Alston.  "They're focused on this election, and it's taken the focus off the kids, and so my thing is for them to have a safe school to have a quality education, and that's why I still stay here."

Where she is staying is Wisconsin, the home state of Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan, and one of a handful of states fiercely contested by President Obama and Mitt Romney.

"It's got a big impact because we've got a lot of liberals, and Democrats, and Republicans, but I think we've got a lot of people who are swaying back and forth, so this is a swaying state," added Alston.

Regardless of who wins the election, many voters say they are happy it will be over, if for no other reason than it will bring an end to all the political advertising.

"I get a lot of emails and I've seen a lot of the ads which are now starting to get a little bit crazy," Alston noted.

"I'm absolutely blown away by the billions of dollars that have been spent on this election."

Wisconsin voter Marcia Hill says this contest might be the most divisive election in her lifetime.

"I've heard several people say they'll be glad the election is over with so they can start talking to their friends again," Hill said.

With President Obama and Mitt Romney nearly tied in the most recent polling data, the 2012 election promises to be a tight race to the finish where every vote counts.

Kane Farabaugh

Kane Farabaugh is the Midwest Correspondent for Voice of America, where since 2008 he has established Voice of America's presence in the heartland of America.

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