Where the polls stand - 2 weeks to go

With just one Presidential debate to go, and a little more than two weeks remaining, campaign 2012 continues to be a close affair. Real Clear Politics has the race essentially tied, with Obama favored to win 201 electoral college votes and Mitt Romney 206, with 131 up for grabs.

Despite the narrowing of the national polling, President Obama continues to enjoy a small but persistent lead in swing states, including the all important Ohio

The NYT calculates that this persistent lead is generating a 70.3% chance of President winning Ohio on November 6th

These persistent swing state leads have 538 projecting the President to win 288 electoral votes to Mitt Romney's 255.

Where the polls stand - 6 weeks out

With just 6 weeks of campaigning left, the President continues to hold a strong position.

In the Electoral College, Real Clear Politics calculates that the President currently holds the edge with 247 votes to Mitt Romney's 191, an increase of 10 votes for the President since last week.

In Ohio, all polling continues to show the President with a small, but significant lead.

The NYT polling analyst, 538, also shows President Obama with a large projected win in the electoral college

In Ohio, President Obama is projected to have a 76.5% chance of prevailing - his largest margin to date.

Not included in these analysis is a just released poll by Ohio's newspapers, which showed the Presdient leading Mitt Romney 51-46. The very same poll also confirmed polling trends that Sen. Sherrod Brown leads Josh Mandel by a sizable margin 52-45

A $715 million experiment

The Youngstown Vindicator echoes some of the issues we highlighted in a weekend guest column - CHARTER SCHOOLS AND OUR TAX DOLLARS.

In an article titled "State continues to blindly shift funding to charter schools"

The salaries of public school teachers and administrators are readily available, most notably on the website of the Buckeye Institute, which lists every Ohio public school employee by name and salary. But good luck finding a data base that provides the same insight into charter operations. And Ohio taxpayers can only dream of knowing how much of their $74 million that White Hat collects will end up as profit for owner David Brenner, a longtime proponent of charter schools and a financial supporter of politicians who share his view.

Atty. Charles R. Saxbe, who represents White Hat in a lawsuit brought by some of its charter school boards, said public funds become private once they enter White Hat’s accounts.

Charter schools were first sold to Ohio voters as an experiment. The results of that experiment are not in, but the General Assembly continues to increase funding for charter schools. What was a $51 million experiment in 2000 has ballooned to a $715 million experiment in 2011. While charter schools get an ever big bite out of the education pie in Ohio, funding for public schools, adjusted for inflation, has flat-lined.

Millions of dollars are invested in promoting this failed experiment, because many millions more dollars are at stake in profits.