The Post's Editorial Board leans toward putting Ohio in Play. This is from a newspaper that endorsed Bush in 2000. Yes, for the conservatives out there, your "liberal" local press were Bush supporters.
Bush's standing in Ohio depends most on how he does in Cincinnati and Columbus. He will win the rural areas, but loose the rest of the big cities. Bush must win Columbus and must clean up in the Cincinnati metro area. Bush will win our area, but if he does not get great voter turnout around here, he will find it hard to win the state.
His tour through the area will not really do much at this point. If Bush has to come to Cincinnati in late October or even early November, then he can write of Ohio and likely the election. I would guess Bush will need to be in Ohio heavily in October. Kerry better start living here in Ohio come Labor day. Kerry gets the Cleveland, Toledo, Youngstown and Dayton areas, and gets them at 60% plus, he should win the state.
I see June as the defining period in politics. Most uninformed people get an image of the candidates at that point that will stick. That first image or first impression sticks, and influences perceptions, which are then attacked by the media and advertising all Fall.