In Merrill, the presidential race is close - literally. Volunteer campaign offices for both President Obama and Governor Mitt Romney are in the same building.
Wednesday morning, Judy Ayer was volunteering at the Lincoln County Republican campaign. She sat in a metal folding chair amidst tens of yard signs for local, county, state and presidential candidates. Ayer lives outside Merril on an 80 acre farm and has worked as a nurse for 34 years in Wausau. She spends a majority of her free time volunteering with the Republican Party and Big Brothers, Big Sisters.
Ayer says she's scared of the country’s debt and what it will mean in the future. In addition to solving the country's debt problems, she wants to be able to earn more money per paycheck after taxes than she does now. “I just think Mitt Romney is wiser with money,” she said.
I asked her if people from opposing parties ever have run-ins since the campaign offices are so close together. Grinning, she replied with a "no", but said they stay on their own sides of the building.
The Democratic office wasn’t open Wednesday, but Lincoln County Democratic Party Chair Melissa Schroeder says she’s seen a lot of enthusiasm for President Obama and his reelection campaign.
Democratic party members in Merrill held a chili supper Sunday. She was impressed with the turnout. “It was great to see people in support of the president. It showed that democrats in this area aren’t one issue voters.”
These photos are part of Wisconsin Public Radio's Road to November series. Reporters Maureen McCollum and Lindsey Moon are traveling north along Highway 51 talking to voters about the election all this week. What issue is most important to you? Tweet @WPRNews #WIpolitics. Find updates from the road on WPRNews' Facebook page.