The clock is ticking.
As you might have gathered by now, Ohio has received a great deal of attention in this election cycle.
And for good reason. Ohio, after all, has been the native state of seven U.S. presidents; and another president, William Henry Harrison, the 9th president of the United States, while born in Charles City, a Virginia colony, settled in Ohio later in his life and always considered the Buckeye state his home.
But Ohio has caught everyone's attention for another reason. To hear the pundits tell it, given the ``blue wall'' of Democratic states signed sealed and practically delivered to Mr. Obama, if Mitt Romney expects to keep Barack Obama a one-term president, it's virtually an absolute must he flip Ohio, which Barack Obama carried in 2008, winning 51.5 percent of the vote to 46.9 percent for John McCain.
And if that isn't enough, here's another reason why Ohio is so crucial to Mr. Romney and President Obama: No Republican has ever won the White House without carrying Ohio; while John Kennedy in 1960 was the last Democrat to secure the presidency without carrying the Buckeye state.
So to get a sense of what will be taking place in Ohio on Election Night, I checked in with a few folks to see what's in the works.
Ben Marrison, editor of the Columbus Dispatch is preparing for a long frantic if exciting election night. In order to get the latest election results in for the first edition, they will extend deadlines as far as they possibly can, probably 30-60 minutes late. Marrison also indicated the Dispatch will have web producers assigned to each major race, working with the reporters on those stories. There will also be a television crew planted in the newsroom from the TV station the Dispatch owns, who are planning a special four hour election report, capturing the Dispatch reporting staff putting this historic election night edition together.
The Dispatch Washington Bureau has also been summoned from the nation's capital to help with the election coverage in Columbus. ``It'll be busy and fun'', Marrison says, ``election nights are like Christmas.''
And after the polls officially close in Ohio, that's when the anxious moments will set in.
The Ohio Republican Party will be gathering at the Renaissance Downtown Columbus, 50 North 3rd Street, (2nd floor ballroom) beginning at 7 p.m. ET; the evening will include live results coverage, speakers (TBD), music, and a cash bar. This event will be open to the general public and members of the press.
The Ohio Democratic Party, meanwhile, including Chairman Chris Redfern, Senator Sherrod Brown, former Governor Ted Strickland, Justice Yvette McGee Brown, Joyce Beatty, and other Democrats from across Ohio will gather at the Hilton Columbus Downtown (401 North High Street, Columbus, Ohio) beginning at 7:30 p.m. to celebrate what they hope to be the re-election of President Barack Obama, and Senator Sherrod Brown. Only credentialed members of the press will be permitted to attend the Democratic bash.
Ohio, along with Florida, will receive so much attention Election Night, the national networks are making plans to plant staff member's right in the heart of the Buckeye State.
Here's a brief synopsis of what's being planned by the national networks:
• At CNN, anchors Wolf Blitzer and Anderson Cooper will kick off the election coverage from Washington, with Candy Crowley from Boston and Erin Burnett from the hotly contested state of Ohio, beginning at 6 p.m. And as the night progresses, CNN's Washington crew will be checking in with correspondent Martin Savidge who will be reporting from Cleveland, Ohio with live updates. In addition, Don Lemon will be based in Columbus and Carol Costello in Cincinnati. Besides Ohio, CNN will have at least 15 other correspondents fanned out across the United States from Chesterfield Virginia to Dixville Notch, New Hampshire.
Throughout the night, viewers will want to check in on CNN's Election Center for the latest election results and analysis.
• At ABC, led by Diane Sawyer and George Stephanopoulos, ABC News will bring viewers election results as they come in beginning with a special edition of "World News with Diane Sawyer" at 6:30pm ET and continuing with full election coverage from 7:00pm ET until at least 2:00 am ET. A special edition of "Nightline" will air at 2:35am ET.
ABC News Correspondent Ron Claiborne will be reporting from Ohio; and on ABC News Radio, Matt Gutman and Jim Ryan will report on voter turnout from Florida and Ohio.
In addition to Ohio, ABC Senior White House Correspondent Jake Tapper will report from the Obama election headquarters in Chicago "and ABC World News" weekend anchor David Muir will be planted at the Romney election headquarters in Boston. Other ABC correspondents reporting from key battleground states include: Amy Robach, Cecilia Vega, Sharyn Alfonsi, and David Wright.
For the latest results, online users will want to go to the ABC News politics page .
• NBC's all-night Decision 2012 coverage and analysis begins at 6 p.m. ET, hosted by Rachel Maddow with Chris Matthews and Rev. Al Sharpton, Lawrence O'Donnell, Ed Schultz, and Steve Schmidt from New York City.
Other MSNBC correspondents, who will be reporting Tuesday night, include: Alex Wagner, Chris Hayes, Ezra Klein, former RNC Chairman Michael Steele, Washington Post's Eugene Robinson, Victoria DeFrancesco Soto, and former Gov. Ed Rendell. Huffington Post's Howard Fineman and CNBC's John Harwood will provide reports from the campaigns and their reactions.
For the latest election results and analysis, online viewers will want to check out MSNBC's special election night coverage for live election results, including the key races for House and Senate.
• At WashingtonPost.com, visitors to The Post's website and mobile web will find live video programming from 7 pm - 1 am ET. by The Fold, an online news program anchored by on-air journalists Brook Silva-Braga and Emi Kolawole, who will provide instant reactions and interviews from The Post's newsroom, including candidate acceptance speeches and perspectives across the battleground states. Analysis will additionally be provided by Post journalists, including Dan Balz, Chris Cillizza, Nia-Malika Henderson, Karen Tumulty and others.
Other election night coverage, including results, interactive maps, live blogs and analysis can be found on the Post's Politics Page.
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