NILES, Ohio -- On Election Eve in Niles, a small town in the northeastern part of the state, a privately funded digital billboard was flashing "Say NO to Socialist Barack Hussein Obama" all night long. To the right of the flashing words, a photograph of the Democratic candidate was crossed out with a white "X". According to the Youngstown Vindicator, the billboard has been up for more than a week.
Niles is located in the nation's former industrial belt, traditionally Democratic country. The city's economy was undermined in the 1970s when the steel industry -- already in decline -- collapsed. Niles is also known as the birthplace of William McKinley, the 25th president of the United States.
It's hard to miss the high-tech billboard because it stands across the street from Eastwood Mall, one of the largest shopping and restaurant complexes in the United States, a high-traffic location. The controversial sign has come under criticism by local Democrats. "It's the most ridiculous, inaccurate billboard that could ever be put up," said state Rep. Robert F. Hagan (D) of Youngstown.
Obama billboard photographed by Niles Reporter Shelby Shroeder.