MILFORD, Ohio—Outside the polling station at Trinity United Methodist Church on Tuesday, an arm-length American flag had pulled partially loose from a rod stuck in the ground. A middle-aged voter, seeing the flag droop, pulled a roll of clear tape from her car. “We’ve had men die in the war,” she told bystanders as she walked over to tape it up. “So I don’t think we should let it drag on the ground.”
Enjoying the privileges of hard-won freedom, dozens of Ohioans came to this church to cast their ballots today. Some were willing to share their thoughts about the election and say why they were supporting either Gov. Mitt Romney or President Barack Obama.
Robin Haboush, 51, is a landlord who manages her husband’s construction company. She said she owns 12 properties and was voting against a local school district tax levy. Although she doesn’t like everything about either presidential candidate, she’s pulling the lever for Gov. Romney: “I think Obama needs to rest,” she said, adding she didn’t like the president’s recent campaign remark encouraging his supporters to vote for “revenge.”
Robert McClanahan, 30, with shoulder-length red hair he attributes to Scottish heritage, was trained as a civil engineer but currently works as a data-entry employee at a jewelry repair shop. Congress hasn’t done enough to get the construction market back in shape, he said. He’s an independent and is voting for Obama. Romney, he said, has “flip-flopped too much.”
Ron and Linda Collins, 53 and 51, work as a federal police officer and an IT supervisor, respectively. They’ve come out to support Romney and prevent America from turning into “a socialist country.” Their 23-year-old daughter couldn’t get a needed student loan, they said, because of rules in the new federal healthcare law that categorize her as a dependent, even though she no longer lives with her parents. They can’t afford to sign a loan for her, so they told her she’d have to put off her education. In 2008 two of their daughters supported Obama. “This year they’re singing a different song,” Ron said.
“I don’t know!” exclaimed 20-year-old Karri Levo when asked whether she was a Republican or a Democrat. “I think I’m an independent!” Levo, wearing black and green plastic glasses, was voting for the first time today. There was a “war” going on in her house, she said, because she was voting for Obama even though her family members are Republican. Levo doesn’t like some Republicans’ pro-life stance even in cases of rape, and said Romney seemed to be “just a big talker. … I really don’t think he represents everyone in the United States.”
Matt Petersman, 40, who was wearing a Cincinnati Reds baseball cap, came out to the polling place with his three young daughters to hand out Republican Party voting guides. As Petersman’s 8-year-old, Maddie, did backward somersaults on the church lawn, he explained that he likes to share information not covered by the mainstream media on his Facebook page, without resorting to name-calling. He had brought a homemade sign that read, “Stand up. Not down”—a phrase in reference to the ongoing dispute over Obama’s handling of security in Benghazi, Libya, at the time of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens’ death—a situation Petersman said is “very, very troubling.”
Petersman called the day’s race for Romney: “I think it’s going to be a landslide. I think the polls are usually skewed more toward the Democrats simply because that’s the media’s objective.”