A few hours before the third and final Ohio senate debate on October 26 between Senator Sherrod Brown and Rep. Jim Renacci, R-Wadsworth, Brown's campaign held a rally outside Miami University's Hall Auditorium, the debate venue.
Brown's staffers called the event a "hangout" rather than a rally.
"The plan is to just kind of hang out and wait," said Rob Kull, the Veteran Outreach Coordinator for the Brown campaign. "We'll just be out here and then cheer once [Brown] comes out at around 5:30."
The event was supposed to start at 4:30 p.m., but 15 minutes later, the only things under the canopy of Hall Auditorium were three students, two staffers and one stack of "Sherrod Brown for Senate" signs.
Students and community members alike trickled in throughout the next half hour. Each were handed a sign with slogans ranging from "Women for Sherrod" to "Sherrod Brown Supports Veterans." Several students wore "Students for Sherrod" stickers across their chests.
Staffers also circulated two clipboards that asked for a name, contact information and availability to help campaign for Brown over the next two weekends in Butler County.
By 5:15, at least 50 people met around the entrance of the auditorium.
Despite the cold, the bundled-up mass had a buzzing and unified energy -- though many said they would have rather waited inside.
"It's so great to see all types of people coming from so many different places," said Charles Kennick, president of the Miami College Democrats. "It hypes him up in the sense that seeing his supporters standing out here in the 42 degrees and rainy weather lets him know that we're with him and believe in what he's doing."
At around 5:20 p.m., the senator came out of the auditorium to briefly address his supporters.
The crowd greeted him with cheers and chants of "Sherrod! Sherrod! Sherrod!"
"Thanks so much for coming," Brown said. "I ask each of you in the next ten days to do whatever any of you can do for our campaign or the [Richard] Cordray campaign or Vanessa [Enoch's] campaign. But also, I want each of you to find five people who you know, particularly if they're students, that might not vote. You care about this stuff, you know about it and you can convince a lot more people than you think."
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At press time, Brown maintains a double-digit lead over Renacci in the polls heading into the final week before election day.