Romney “All In” on Ohio

Ohio is equally important to both candidates despite the media focus on how important it is to Romney alone so both campaigns are pouring everything they have into the state.  The Wall Street Journal takes a fair look at the relentless campaign stops across the state from both Romney and Ryan as they hope to replicate George Bush’s 2004 turnout that shocked political observers:

Mitt Romney is making a full-court press to win Ohio and taking a page from George W. Bush’s playbook to do so. Signaling the state is a must-have part of his strategy to win the White House, Mr. Romney and his running mate are returning again and again—Mr. Romney crammed in three appearances Thursday. Romney forces this week are spending more on advertisements in Ohio than in any other state. And they are deploying multiple messages in a state as diverse as the nation.

2004 Redux

Romney aides believe Mr. Bush’s 2004 victory in Ohio gives them a road map to winning the state’s 18 Electoral College votes. One big factor is raw turnout and enthusiasm among the Buckeye State’s rural areas and social conservatives. The Romney team sees President Barack Obama’s win in 2008 as having more to do with depressed GOP enthusiasm for Sen. John McCain than it did a surge of enthusiasm for Mr. Obama. “In county after county, we’re looking to reactivate voters who were turned off by McCain but are now excited about Mitt Romney,” said Scott Jennings, the Romney campaign manager for Ohio. “If we can do that, we can win the state.”

“Game on” from Team Obama

Mr. Obama, who leads narrowly in most Ohio polls, is ceding no ground, continuing to highlight his rescue plan for the auto industry, a backbone of the local economy. His campaign has organizers in all 88 counties and is making a big push to take advantage of the state’s early-voting program. He traveled to the state Thursday for his 22nd political event there year.

The first debate turn

Mr. Obama’s lead has narrowed substantially since the first debate, with the president holding a 2.1 percentage point margin in the average of recent Ohio polls combined by Real Clear Politics, a nonpartisan website. Republicans say the state is in for a photo finish. Mr. Romney and his running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, have crisscrossed the state several times over, with Mr. Romney holding 39 campaign events in Ohio during the general election and Mr. Ryan appearing at 22 events there.

The money wars

As Mr. Romney’s prospects in Ohio have improved, Republicans have poured more money into the state for advertising, according to a Republican official tracking the race. Mr. Romney and his allies will spend more than $12 million combined in the Buckeye State this week, more than any other state, compared to $7.9 million spent by the Obama campaign and its allies. During the last week of September, when Mr. Obama still led in nearly all public polls, Republicans were spending $6.2 million in Ohio, compared to $5.5 million for Democrats.

Different region, different theme

For both campaigns, the fight for Ohio amounts to a multi-front battle. The state’s industrial Northeast, especially Cleveland, is a Democratic stronghold. The rural counties in the south and west are solidly conservative. The auto industry dominates the northern tier of the state; the coal industry rules in the southeast. In northern Ohio, the debate over the auto-industry rescue is seen by Obama forces as a gift. It is an issue where the two candidates have clear differences, with powerful local impact. In southeastern Ohio, the Romney campaign is telling voters that Mr. Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency is hostile to the coal industry that some of them depend on. The Obama campaign has said that Mr. Romney, as governor of Massachusetts, tried to close a coal plant.

Battleground Counties

In other battlegrounds in the state, Mr. Jennings said the Romney campaign hopes to win back several key counties, such as Hamilton in the southwest and Lake in the northeast, that tipped Democratic in 2008 after previously being reliably Republican. It’s also pushing turnout in the conservative band of counties between Toledo and Dayton, where turnout for Mr. McCain was weak. Mr. Ryan plans to campaign there over the weekend. Perhaps most important, the Romney campaign needs to do well in heavily populated counties Mr. Obama is certain to win but where the GOP must narrow his margins, including Cuyahoga, home to Cleveland. Mr. Ryan traveled to that part of the state on Wednesday to give a speech on upward mobility.


  1. korak Tongani
    Posted October 25, 2012 at 8:49 pm | Permalink | Reply

    These reports are encouraging for the Buckeye State. It seems the Republican presence
    is working well. This state will be close but I havn’t seen any bounce for Oboy since the
    third debate, actually the resuls are contraicative. The recent fundraising by Ryan, and the fact
    the incumbent is still knowhere near 49% says a lot.

  2. Posted October 25, 2012 at 9:09 pm | Permalink | Reply

    The key line from this post…”Mr. Romney and his allies will spend more than $12 million combined in the Buckeye State this week, more than any other state, compared to $7.9 million spent by the Obama campaign and its allies.” Boom! Romney and his allies will also spend more money in Ohio next week.

    • AJ
      Posted October 25, 2012 at 9:20 pm | Permalink | Reply

      I cant see how ads can move any voters at this point. Hopfully they are spending it on GOTV.

  3. No Tribe
    Posted October 25, 2012 at 9:23 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Swing state tally on Obama’s final poll number:

    AZ: 43
    MO: 43.3
    NC: 45
    VA: 46.8
    FL: 47
    CO: 47.8
    OH: 47.9
    ——————— Romney at 275 EV’s
    NH: 48.2 (+ME02)
    IA: 48.8
    MI: 48.8
    ——————— Romney at 302 EV’s
    WI: 49.5
    OR: 49.5
    NV: 49.6
    PA: 50
    MN: 50.3

    Looks solid for Romney. Obama is simply not going to win states where he is under 48 in the final RCP average.

  4. Ron
    Posted October 25, 2012 at 9:28 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Great rundown on what’s happening in OH:

    • Posted October 25, 2012 at 10:57 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Fascinating, especially the bit about Obama cannibalizing his election day vote in favor of early voting.

  5. Eric
    Posted October 25, 2012 at 9:55 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Actually Romney and his SuperPACs are outspending Obama and his SuperPACs right now in every single state, not just Ohio. has a good breakdown of the ad spending for TV ads.

    It’s mostly the SuperPACs that are driving the TV ads for Romney. The Obama campaign is vastly outspending the Romney campaign, but the SuperPACs are pushing Romney ahead. The Romney campaign is flush with cash, so they must be spending their money on other things.

  6. Posted October 25, 2012 at 10:00 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Clinton’s former pollster says race tied in Ohio, but Romney has the momentum.

  7. Medicine Man
    Posted October 25, 2012 at 10:08 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Keith: Here is something from Trende that would be a good topic.

  8. No Tribe
    Posted October 25, 2012 at 10:14 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I went and looked at 2008 polls in the states. Look how wrong the polls got Iowa, over polling Obama, and Nevada, under polling Obama, and Ohio:
    Marist nailed Iowa, hahahaha. Polled it twice at 10, actual 9.5% margin, polling average was 15%
    Off by a startling 6.5% people. I have looked at the statewide polling for 2008, 2004, and 2000 and there are examples in the battleground states all over like this one.
    Off by 2% to Obama, as he had the momentum. SUSA is the closest.
    Zogby (rofl) and Suffolk nailed this. I would only trust Suffolk in NV. They got it down in this state. The others were way wrong. Suffolk also got it in ’10

    Here’s Ohio ’04
    After looking at both ’04 and ’08 in Ohio, I would trust SUSA to get it right.

    Did you know that Bush got 16% of the black vote in Ohio in 2004? I guess that was from the church’s, and Blackwell days.

    • No Tribe
      Posted October 25, 2012 at 10:16 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Better for Ohio 2004

    • Medicine Man
      Posted October 25, 2012 at 10:39 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Reason Bush got so much of the black vote I believe is that the marriage amendment was on the ballot that year. I’m sure some of that bled over.

      • Posted October 25, 2012 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

        Bush aggressively courted the Black vote. I followed it closely in ’04 and he did well for a Republican but I was greatly discouraged he didn’t do better. We’re probably a generation away from that demographic becoming more balanced in their politics. But we’ll keep trying no matter.

      • Brian
        Posted October 25, 2012 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

        A generation is generous, Keith. LBJ was right. 200 years.

    • William Jefferson
      Posted October 25, 2012 at 10:43 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Gallup was atrocious when they did state polling in 2004. I remember their final Florida poll was around Kerry +5 or something like that. Just an unimaginable miss.

  9. jvnvch
    Posted October 25, 2012 at 10:33 pm | Permalink | Reply

    John McCain lost Ohio in 2008 51.50% to 46.91%. I find it nearly impossible to believe Mitt Romney won’t receive at least 3.1% more of the Ohio vote this year than McCain got last time. I predict Romney will definitely win Ohio, and will win the election, period. That almost has to be the case, unless I am the worst political prognosticator in the world, which would seem to be very unlikely, as I’ve predicted the winner of the last eight presidential elections from 1980 on, meaning I’m eight for eight so far, and expect to be nine for nine very soon.

    • Medicine Man
      Posted October 25, 2012 at 10:40 pm | Permalink | Reply

      You and the people from Boulder should get a show….sounds like you got a good schitch going 😉

      • jvnvch
        Posted October 26, 2012 at 12:03 am | Permalink

        The eight for eight sounds more impressive than it should. Stevie Wonder could have seen six of them coming. I was kind of lucky in 2000, some would say. Well, some would say I was lucky in both 2000 and 2004, but I don’t think so. Maybe 2000, but not 2004.

      • jvnvch
        Posted October 26, 2012 at 12:45 am | Permalink

        By the way, it really just comes down to figuring out which candidate is going to win Ohio, pretty much. I will add, however, if you can also figure out which candidate is going to win Florida, and if it’s the same candidate who will win Ohio, you have a virtual lock. That’s the case this year, as in every year except one, as far back as I’ve been paying attention to presidential elections.

  10. margaret
    Posted October 25, 2012 at 10:56 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Bill Spectrino (Ohio pollster and business investor analyst) has a new article out about Ohio: “It’s all over but the crying”.
    He has lived in Ohio for 50 years and knows the state very well. He says Mitt is up by at least 3 points. His article is worth a read:

    • Mk
      Posted October 26, 2012 at 6:55 am | Permalink | Reply

      Try finding even one OH resident who thinks Obama is up. He’s just not. This race is a 180 from what we saw, heard, and felt in 2008.

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