Channel 5's John London is an anomaly.

In the volatile world of local television news where a station's staff seems to rotate regularly, the Middletown native has been at WLWT for more than 25 years. Before his distinctive countenance appeared on screen, he worked in radio for stations in Dayton and Cincinnati.

London has been a fixture on the air during election night coverage over the years, but his interest goes beyond his job description. He knows the players and he knows the area's voters. What are his thoughts on the presidential campaign?

What is it with Ohio and presidential elections? It's always a key swing state with plenty of national media attention.

It sounds like a cliché, but Ohio is a true microcosm of the country. It possesses big cities with fading industrial clout, sprawling suburban enclaves, large swaths of rural America and small towns that retain a proud identity.  Although Ohi'™s electoral vote number has slipped to 18, that's still substantial and significant for anyone running a national campaign. The state is also very representative of most of the Midwest.  As such, it commands and deserves the political attention it receives every four years.

Sen. Rob Portman and Gov. John Kasich spoke at the Republican convention, and House Speaker John Boehner is on TV almost daily criticizing President Obama. Your thoughts on the strategy to raise Ohi'™s profile. 

It is smart strategy for a variety of reasons. With Ohi'™s poll numbers alternating around and within the margin of error, filling the screen with Ohio Republicans reinforces the Romney-Ryan message.  The GOP will need a very large turnout of social conservatives in Clermont, Warren, Butler and Hamilton counties to offset the Democratic vote in the northeast and turn Ohio from blue to red. All three of the big-name Ohio Republicans have their talking points honed to near-perfection and are in sync on virtually every issue of consequence.  Favorite sons are important in a state that competes with Virginia for the title "Mother of Presidents."

George W. Bush tapped into the 45243 ZIP code (Indian Hill and Madeira) for big contributions during his campaigns. Does Mitt Romney have the same clout in the area this year?

It's hard to determine a precise dollar until the post-election financial reports are in, but it appears Romney is a prodigious fundraiser in this area.  Just to be in the same room with him at a downtown fundraiser this summer would've run you $2,500. A picture was worth 10 grand (and one would hope a thousand words). There's still plenty of old money in Hamilton County.  The Lindner family hosted Ann Romney for a campaign fundraiser in September. Conservative Republican coffers open up here for presidential campaign season.  Romney is tapping into the same well as Bush the father and Bush the son.

On the Democratic side, Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton were regular visitors to lawyer Stan Chesley's fundraisers. Has his own legal trouble lowered his national profile?

He is not as active as he was during the Clinton years, but he remains a person of considerable influence politically.  He has not held fundraisers at his home as he did during the Clinton administration, but he has held them at his law office for local candidates and contributes to the Democratic party when asked.  Chesley has close, personal ties to the Clintons and was therefore heavily invested in their campaign success. But according to election records, he has also contributed to Boehner and some other Republican candidates as well. President Obama has a different circle of close friends in the Cincinnati area and has not held the same level of fundraisers here that former President Clinton did.

Which candidate wins Ohio, and if he does, does he win the election?

President Obama won Ohio four years ago.  The last time the state wasn't in the win column was 1960.  How's that for a track record?  It is too close to hazard a call. But, Hamilton County Democratic Party Chairman Tim Burke is convinced Ohio will make the difference and Hamilton County will decide which way the state goes.  Don't touch that dial.