Lucas County, south and west of Toledo, is another traditionally Democratic stronghold. Nearly 45,000 ballots have already come in here thanks to early voting, which is running as many as 8,000 votes ahead of last cycle, according to Ron Rothenbuhler, chairman of the Lucas County Democratic Party. Last time around, Obama beat John McCain in Lucas by more than 69,000 votes, about 24,000 more votes than John Kerry pulled in 2004. Obama's margin in this county and others may be narrower than in 2008. Not everyone seems reassured by the early voting, in part because the economic improvements in other parts of the state have mostly skipped Toledo, in spite of the auto bailout.
Left: Obama speaks to a crowd during a campaign stop at Scott High School in Toledo on Sept. 3, 2012.