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After a year of campaigns, the race between President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney is almost over. All eyes are on Ohio to

decide the presidential election

. In aggregate polling, Obama leads Romney by

2.9 points in Ohio

and

0.7 points nationally

.

FiveThirtyEight

, The New York Times ’ electoral forecast model, gives Obama a 91.4 percent chance to win Ohio and a 91.6 percent chance to win the election. The New York Times also has an interactive flowchart to gauge both Obama's and Romney's paths to victory.

In the U.S. Senate race, Democratic incumbent Sherrod Brown leads Republican challenger Josh Mandel by

5 points in aggregate polling

. CityBeat covered the policy and campaign differences between the two candidates in coverage of the

first

,

second

and

third

debate and a

cover story

.

Gov. John Kasich has taken a noticeable shift to the center and considered less divisive ideas in recent months, and some of that might be to

help Romney’s electoral chances in Ohio

. In the past two years, Kasich went from supporting SB 5, which would have limited collective bargaining for public employees, to focusing almost entirely on jobs.

While we focus on voting on Earth,

astronauts in space also vote

.

Hamilton County Commission President Greg Hartmann, a Republican,

laid out his budget plan yesterday

. Hartmann touted “austerity” as a prominent theme in the budget. Austerity measures actually led Europe into a second recession,

according to prominent economist Robert Reich

. This matches the opinion of other economists, such as Nobel-winning

Paul Krugman

, who argue governments should try to make up for shortfalls in the private sector through increased spending during recessions. Recently, the International Monetary Fund

admitted it underestimated the bad economic impact of austerity measures

. Still, Hamilton County is required to balance its budget, so the commissioners don’t have many options. Todd Portune, the lone Democratic commissioner, says he will unveil his plan later.

The new Jungle Jim’s at Eastgate is having a

large, positive impact on its neighbors

. The exotic grocery store has apparently brought a lot of new paying customers to the area.

Cincinnati’s Oakley neighborhood might soon put its traffic problems in the past. City Council is

expected to vote on a plan Wednesday

that would block three streets in the neighborhood. Residents have complained traffic is out of control because of development at the Rookwood Exchange in Norwood, and traffic could get worse due to the holiday shopping season.

Workers injured during the construction of Cincinnati’s Horseshoe Casino are

looking for a way around workers comp rules

. The exemption-seeking lawsuit filed by four workers against 13 defendants is typical in Ohio law, which generally prevents workers from suing employers over workplace injuries since Ohio’s compensation rules provide ways to obtain missing wages and other potential damages.

Time Warner Cable is hiring for more than 50 positions in Cincinnati

.

A new partnership between the Memorial Hall Society, 3CDC and Hamilton County’s commissioners may

revitalize Hamilton County’s Memorial Hall

. The hall is one of Hamilton County’s architectural treasures, but a lack of renovations has left it behind modern developments, including air conditioning.

Some of Ohio’s exotic animal owners are not happy with a new law that requires registering and micro-chipping exotic animals, so they are

suing the state

.

A Cleveland woman that drove on a sidewalk to avoid a school bus that was unloading children will have to wear a sign that says,

“Only an idiot drives on the sidewalk to avoid a school bus.”

She will have to wear the sign at an intersection for one hour a day for two days next week.

An Ohio woman broke into a family’s house, cleaned the house and left a $75 bill

.

On Sunday, an amputee climbed 103 stories using a mind-controlled bionic leg. Oh, science.

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