SANDUSKY, Ohio — We may be a full 6 months until the November midterm elections, but you've likely already seen some of the campaigns for candidates running for office in our state and across the country.
Nationwide campaign spending could reach levels only seen in presidential election years in 2022.
This year's election will decide, among other things, who controls Congress, which will impact everything from health care to climate policy over the next two years of the Biden presidency.
SPEAKING WITH AMERICAN VOTERS:
There are two ways to get the pulse of the country ahead of an election. You could listen to pundits or read polling, which shows the economy a top concern and President Biden's numbers lower than where they were when he took office.
Or you could go out and talk with voters in places that will ultimately decide the election. We chose the latter and headed to Sandusky, Ohio.
The Cook Political Report, which ranks what races are the most competitive nationwide, lists the House district around Sandusky as one of the most competitive
It's currently listed as a toss-up as Ohio debates redistricting.
COFFEE WITH THE LOCALS:
A college roommate of mine who lives in Sandusky suggested Mr. Smith's Coffee House for a chance to meet people. Here we found Republicans and Democrats. More importantly, we found voters of all ages.
Midterm elections tend to be referendums on the current President and that is why Hailey Swanger's opinion is interesting. She's 24 and is a nurse. She voted for the President in 2020. Housing is on her mind.
"I voted for him and personally I don't feel he is doing a great job," Swanger told me over a coffee.
"I have a good job and everything right now but like I hardly make anything to save enough money to buy a house," Swanger said.
"Do you think owning a house is obtainable in the near future for you?" Our Joe St. George asked Swanger.
"No," Swanger replied.
Another voter who cast a ballot for President Biden in the last election is Sally Shenberger.
Sally is 86 and still works part-time with some of her friends at nearby Cedar Point. Sally likes what Democrats and President Biden have done regarding the pandemic.
"He has taken care of the vaccines," Shenberger said.
However, the pump price worries her and is driving her vote.
"Inflation is not the way it should be, the gasoline. I drive 36 miles one way to get to work," Shenberger said.
Not every past Biden supporter here is frustrated though.
"Obviously we all have differences in opinions," Mark Harper, a coworker of Sally's told St. George.
He says the people in charge deserve more credit than they are getting.
"He only has so much ability to control gas prices," Harper added.
As for Republicans grabbing coffee.
"I voted for the other guy," John Rohrbacher said.
Rohrbacher hopes his beloved GOP focus on health care issues more, specifically prescription drugs.
"My regular prescription is $1,400 a month for one," Rohrbacher said.
"How do you afford that?" St. George asked.
"I can't," Rohrbacher said.
ISSUES NOT MENTIONED
One thing that was obvious is that a lot of the issues that are talked about on partisan talk shows didn't come up during coffee.
"Do you ever think of January 6th," St. George asked Swanger.
"No," Swanger replied.
"It's not one of my major things," Shenberger said.
Voters just seem to have other priorities, priorities that will decide who wins later this year.