Remember when it seemed like the entire presidential race had taken up residence in Ohio? Not anymore. According to an Associated Press report out today, George W. Bush hasn't shown his face in the Buckeye State once in two weeks.
What gives? The Republicans tell AP that Bush is up by a couple of points in Ohio and that he's doing so well there that he can spend his time in places like Florida, Iowa and Wisconsin instead. The Democrats say that Kerry is up by a couple of points in Ohio, and that Bush's numbers might get worse there if the president visited. "You should ask them why they don't think it's a good thing to have their candidate campaign" in Ohio, Kerry spokesman Joe Lockhart said on a call with reporters today.
Who's telling the truth? It's hard to know. A Chicago Tribune poll taken last week has Kerry up by four among likely voters in Ohio. A Strategic Vision poll taken the same time has Bush up by six. Time will tell, as will the candidates' travel schedules. Kerry will be in Ohio Tuesday and again Wednesday night. Bush returns to Ohio Friday for what will be his first appearance in 20 days.
Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.