Meanwhile, reporters who are trying to get a sense of how female swing voters here view the campaign would do well to fan out and interview “ordinary” women around the state, not just those who are politically connected or show up at rallies. To his credit, this is just what Huffington Post’s Ward did in a follow-up Wednesday, on the first day of the Ohio State Fair.

He found a lot of disgust and disenchantment, with little enthusiasm for either candidate. That’s a sad story, but it’s consistent with a very close outcome, one in which the campaigns fight hard for every vote. That means reporters need to keep their fingers on the pulse of political battles like the gender story—but also to keep the big picture, and fuller context, in mind.

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T.C. Brown covered government and politics in the Ohio Statehouse Bureau for The Plain Dealer of Cleveland for more than 17 years, and he has also written for other local, state and national publications. Brown is a founding partner in Webface, a social media communication company.