By Rosalind S. Helderman
The Washington Post
TOLEDO, Ohio — For many Ohioans, at first it felt like love.
Now it feels like stalking.
In this state, considered by both sides to be the place likely to determine the outcome of the presidential election, it is impossible to get away from President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.
They write. They call. They stop by the house, sometimes more than once a day.
Turn on the news, and they’re there — during the commercials and between them. They blow up cellphones with text messages and they email constantly, begging and pleading — mostly for money, sometimes for votes.
“It’s just oversaturation at this point. It’s enough,” said Steve Thomas, 60, a physician’s assistant doing his part to make it all stop by casting an early ballot Thursday.
Even in this state grown accustomed to its status as a key presidential battleground, people are agreed that they’ve seen nothing like the 2012 election.
Part of it is how long it’s been going on, for a full year or more now. And part of it, in this most expensive election in history, is how much money both sides have to spend on the elusive activities the pros call “ground game” and ordinary people call harassment. Why send one flier when you can afford to send 12?
Both sides brag that they’ve never had a more sophisticated effort to find potential supporters and reach out to them — many, many times if necessary.
The Romney campaign claims they’ve made 4.9 million phone calls and knocked on 2.3 million doors in Ohio alone. The Obama campaign doesn’t release such numbers but says they’ve outdone the Republicans.
That’s all in a state with 11.5 million people, 7.9 million of them registered to vote.
All of that outreach can feel oppressive to voters — and confusing to many who say they made up their minds long ago and regularly vote, helpful phone reminder or no.