Thursday, September 27, 2012

Can Ohio Go Red?

If you've read up on my predictions, so far, I believe that Mitt Romney will pick up four to five states Obama won in 2008. For reviews sake, the definite four are Florida, North Carolina, Indiana and New Hampshire, with a tentative additional pick up in Virginia. If Mitt Romney wins those five states, he will have 252 Electoral Votes. With Ohio, he gets to that magic number of 270 and wins, but many are asking can Mitt Romney win Ohio?

The polls have been all over the place since the conventions closed, and this week, one poll gives Obama a +10 advantage in the Buckeye State. Many conservatives find that unbelievable and are inspired further to get out, others are feeling defeatist, which is what the Obama Campaign wants. Despite the dishonest and misleading polls, both campaigns are crisscrossing Ohio on Wednesday, which proves the state is still clearly in play.

Let's look back at 2008. Ohio was blue, Obama won it by about 5.5% and did very well in the Lake Eerie region, the Eastern Blue Collar/Industrial areas of the state and even won Hamilton County, (Cincinnati)  as well as Montgomery County (Dayton), whose suburban areas usually push the county to the right.

As with the other swing states, I do not believe Barack Obama will gain on his 2008 votes in Ohio and so Mitt Romney's mission is a little easier. First, he must regain the majority in Hamilton County that George W. Bush had in 2000 and 2004. Then, he must build upon the votes McCain gained in the I-75 counties, as well as those counties surrounding this area, which are reliable Republican regions. He must also win Dayton and considering the high military population there, it is clearly winnable. Frankly, there should be no excuse for Mitt Romney not to carry Montgomery County. He must also hit Obama on the fact that his campaign has attempted to disenfranchise the military vote within the Buckeye State. This should be the easiest part for Mitt Romney.

In Eastern Ohio and the Lake Eerie Region, heavy industry and union, Romney needs to pick off disaffected blue collar voters to compete in the state, and if I'm Romney, I would have Obama's bitter clingers comments on constant loop, to remind voters this is what their president thinks of them. While Obama did win, those comments did play in, as Obama's numbers in 2008 where lower in this region than Kerry's numbers in 2004. Then, I would suggest that Romney provide them with solutions on how his presidency will return them to work. Furthermore, I'd remind them that those who have returned to work have done so because of their Governor, Republican John Kasich, and not because of Obama. Paul Ryan will also play well with voters in this region. It should not be forgotten that in 2004, George W. Bush won Ottawa, Sandusky, Lake and Wood Counties in these regions.

Smartly, Mitt Romney's campaign has zeroed in on the state with visits, targeted ads and messaging. As he needs to do on a national level, Mitt Romney must continue to hit harder against Obama and must have a strong performance in the debates; the first one being next Wednesday. Furthermore, with all that money he raised, he needs to spend a big chunk of it in Ohio. The state is winnable for Republicans and it who the president will be the next four years could very well come down to Ohio.

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