Republicans are waiting out Hurricane Isaac before beginning their national convention in Tampa, Fla., this week, and Democrats are looking forward to a national convention in Charlotte, N.C., Sept 4.
But as election day draws closer, some local voters say both Mitt Romney and Pres. Barack Obama should be paying attention to the national economy.
"People are afraid to buy anything when they don't know where their next paycheck is coming from," according to Gilman Avenue resident Danielle Casey, 46, who said the economy could have some bearing on the way she votes.
She noted her brother, who lives in the Canton area, had been laid off from a job with the Timken alloy company earlier this year and hasn't been called back.
Ohio's unemployment rate was 7.2 percent in July-but that's still lower than the national rate, hovering between 8 and 8.3 percent in 2012, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
A year ago U.S. unemployment was above 9 percent.
Choices between the candidates
Some stark choices between President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney:
- Obama would extend expiring Bush-era tax cuts for households earning under $250,000 a year but allow them to rise for wealthier taxpayers.
- He would make those earning more than $1 million a year pay taxes at a minimum 30 percent rate.
- Romney would keep Bush-era tax cuts for all incomes and cut taxes on individuals and companies, bringing the top individual rate of 35 percent down to 25 percent and would curtail some tax deductions and exemptions for the wealthiest, but he hasn't specified which ones.
- Obama pledges to reduce federal spending-but gradually to prevent further shocks to the still-wobbly economy.
- He acknowledges that government debt has risen sharply on his watch but says that the tens of billions in stimulus spending, bank and auto bailouts were necessary to keep the recession from being worse.
- Obama has reached agreement with congressional Republicans to cut $487 billion in military spending over a decade.
- Romney says Obama has made the economic downturn worse, not better.
- With the government poised to post its fourth consecutive annual deficit of more than $4 trillion and the national debt standing at just under $16 trillion, Romney says the best way to spur recovery and stronger job growth is for the government to get out of the way of private enterprise.
- Romney would ease regulations, especially those on small businesses, while blocking the bipartisan agreement to sharply cut military spending.
Source: Associated Press
"I just hope whoever gets elected can do something to help these people get back to work," Casey said.
Just up the street neighbor Ben Bain, 81, said the economy wouldn't factor into his decision on the ballot this year.
"I'm already getting Social Security and my retirement income, and I don't think the economy would play a part in my vote," he said. "And I'm not sure one candidate is any better than the other. Nobody has a specific plan for what they'll do."
According to the Associated Press, lawmakers from both political parties say there is a good chance Congress will address Social Security in the next year or two, but to this point Social Security has not played a big role in the presidential election.
Romney has said he favors gradually increasing the retirement age, but opposes tax increases to shore up Social Security.
Obama hasn't laid out a detailed plan for addressing Social Security. But during the 2008 campaign, he called for applying the Social Security payroll tax to wages above $250,000. It is now limited to wages below $110,100, a level that increases with inflation.
The AP reports that Obama says any changes to Social Security should be done "without putting at risk current retirees, the most vulnerable or people with disabilities, without slashing benefits for future generations and without subjecting Americans' guaranteed retirement income to the whims of the stock market."
Pat Bigley, owner of the S.W.A.G.G. (Stuff We All Give and Get) store on Front Street in Marietta, also doesn't have a favorite in this year's presidential race, and noted it will take time to turn the nation's economy around.
"I don't think four years in office is going to fix it," she said. "Whoever's elected may be president, but they don't hold absolute power, and have to work with others, like the congress, to get things done."
Walt Allen, 78, of Lowell, agreed, and said he, too, couldn't take sides with either candidate.
"I'd like to be able to take some good ideas from each one and put them together. But you can't do that," he said. "And what can (a president) do? Anything they do has to be approved by congress or the courts."
But Bill Farnsworth, 50, of Marietta has already decided he's sticking with Pres. Obama in the November election.
"This is a very important election, and I think I'll be going with Obama," he said. "He's already begun some steps to turn things around, and he just needs some time to improve the economy."
Farnsworth said it's difficult for him to trust Mitt Romney.
"He gives me the impression that he's more concerned about rich people," he said.
No matter who wins the election this November, Farnsworth said in his opinion the most important issue is that the president believes in God.
"That's very important to me," he said.