Voice of the Voter: Wood County - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Voice of the Voter: Wood County

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Just by watching the TV ads you know Ohio is a hot spot for the presidential election.  But not everyone knows that Ground Zero of that battle is in Northwest Ohio.

In the heart of Ohio lies Wood County.  Unbeknownst to many hard working voters there, they've picked the winner in the last eight presidential elections.

 "I'm very surprised!" says Carolyn Erdody, a manager at Mary's Apple Orchard in Grand Rapids.

"I didn't know Wood County in particular, but I know Ohio is always pretty important," says Kevin Burtchin, a Pemberville farmer.

"Wood County is a great barometer for how the state is going to vote," says Dr. Melissa Miller, a Political Science Professor at Bowling Green State University.

Miller calls Wood County a swing county even though the district congressional seat is firmly Republican.  In fact the county's partisan composition is split pretty evenly between Democrats and Republicans.

"The reason Wood County tends to pick the winner isn't because we have any more insight that any other county.  It's that we are a microcosm of the state," says Miller.

The last time they picked the loser was 1976.  Wood County voters went for Gerald Ford. Ford lost to Jimmy Carter.  And in 1960 they chose Richard Nixon when the country elected John F. Kennedy.

Just last week President Barack Obama hosted a rally at BGSU.

"I don't want to get into our campaign strategy, but the president is spending a lot of time traveling to places in this country where people are undecided," says Stephanie Cutter with the Obama campaign.

"The county is heavily Republican. I kind of think they may be going the other way. I'll be voting for Obama," says Terry Moenich, a Democrat from Perrysburg.

"I hope Romney gets in, I think he'd be the best one because of his credentials," says Diane Williams, a Perrysburg voter.

"Grand Rapids is really very Republican," says Carolyn Erdody of Grand Rapids.  She supports Romney.

"It would be favorable. I think that it would be a nice situation, but I have doubts," says Erdody.

The owner of Grounds for Thought, a coffee shop and book store on Main Street in Bowling Green, supports Obama.

"Our business specifically and business I think in downtown as a whole is better than it was four years ago," says Kelly Wicks, owner of Grounds for Thought.

Kevin Burtchin of Permberville doesn't like to talk politics, but does say this election is about the economy.

"As a farmer we're all about the Farm Bill and the things that support us, but the economy in general. As that goes, everybody else goes so that's the biggest thing," says Burtchin.

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