_ Editor’s note: Josh Howard is an undecided voter from swing state Ohio. After voting for Barack Obama in 2008, he and his wife – parents of a 2-year-old son -- disagree on who should be the next president: She says Mitt Romney, he’s “still conflicted” but leaning toward Obama. _
HLN: Are you getting bombarded with political ads via mail, TV and radio -- and if so, how do you deal with it?
Josh Howard: Absolutely! At the mailbox, there are 10 ads for one candidate, and the next day, there are 10 more for the other. My wife and I are split, so we’re getting double the mailers for each candidate. To be perfectly honest, at this point, we throw them in the trash. The attack ads are just too much. They are unnecessary and are playing on people’s emotions. I believe you need to educate yourself in order to make an informed decision about who to make president.
HLN: Do you think this last-minute, frantic campaigning will change people’s vote?
JH: I don’t think they’ll change people’s minds. I think most people are sick of it. It’s just so much! When does it stop? We are even getting calls from the Mitt Romney campaign, already celebrating his victory in Ohio. Celebrating an election prematurely is a bad omen. President Obama has done a superb job with what he was handed. It’s going to be very close — it’s not right or fair to celebrate prematurely.
HLN: How are people talking about politics right now: Is it dominating the conversations or do people try to avoid it?
JH: It’s a heated debate every day. It’s even more of a debate between my wife and I because we see bad and good sides to both candidates. In 2008, we both voted for Obama, and I like him but he’s had years to do everything he wanted to with a Democratic House and Senate. At the same time, with Romney running, I don’t agree with overturning Roe vs. Wade — I don’t think it’s a man’s choice to decide what a woman can do with her body. When we sit back and decide who to vote for, we think about our child — we have a 2-year-old son. I have to think about how my decisions today will affect him later on.
HLN: What are the most important issues to your state right now?
JH: Manufacturing jobs. We want to bring them back to the state of Ohio after they’ve been lost due to the economic downturn, outsourcing, etc. A lot of people here work in car factories, so it’s a major sticking point with us.
HLN: Do you feel your vote is more important than that of many other Americans? What is it like to know that your vote carries more weight with it?
JH: I think that’s really important. That’s why more people need to take more accountability for voting. We’re so blessed — it’s a privilege to vote. I don’t think a lot of people take advantage of that. I try to be as educated as I can about the issues, and I think a lot of people do that up here. It’s very important to be educated on which candidate you feel is the best fit to be the nation’s leader for the America we can be — to have foresight on where we’re going — and people up here do a good job of that. I can’t stress it enough: People need to get out there and vote. This election is going to be so close, and we need every person to vote, whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican. Every election is this important, but especially this one.