Tag Archives: Cleveland

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.

Romney Campaign Announces $12 million Ad Buy Across 9 States

Not much going on out there in news-land (btw, anyone seen my trolls?  They disappeared again ….) so I thought I’d blog some ad spending.  With ~190 million cash-on-hand following the $170 million September fundraising cycle, the Romney campaign is unleashing one of its largest ad buys of the election. The math seems to be quite clear on Michigan and Pennsylvania: Mitt Romney may well win those states, but to do so he will have already cleared 270 electoral votes in one of the enumerated states below.  Therefore why spend money on states that don’t necessarily win the election for you but only increase your margin:

The Romney campaign, flush with cash from its impressive haul of $170 million last month, is reserving large quantities of airtime for the coming week. In one of his biggest ad buys of his campaign so far, Mitt Romney, the Republican nominee, has booked about $12 million worth of television advertising for a six-day rotation of commercials that will begin on Wednesday.

The ad buy — timed to start the day after the second presidential debate — will cover both cable and broadcast television in nine states: Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin. The biggest amounts will be spent in Ohio (about $2 million), Virginia ($1.5 million) and Florida (more than $3 million).

The advertising onslaught coming from the Romney campaign only adds more political noise to the thoroughly saturated airwaves in battleground states. From now until Election Day, candidates and “super PACs” have set aside more than $83 million for advertising, all of it concentrated in 10 states. (Michigan is the one state where neither campaign is advertising, despite the efforts of a pro-Romney super PAC there.)

And the barrage of ads is only going to get heavier. The Romney campaign typically books its advertising time only a few days in advance because it is wary of tipping its hand to Democrats. But with so much money at its disposal — and a group of top advisers who have long said the election will be decided in the final days of the race — the campaign is certain to buy heavily over the next three weeks.

Commercial time in many states like Nevada, which is the epicenter of the 2012 political advertising binge, has been completely bought out on some programs. Las Vegas is the most saturated media market in the country, data from Kantar Media show. Cleveland is No. 2, followed by Denver, Reno and Columbus, Ohio, rounding out the top five.

The Hope of 2008 Doesn’t Resonate the Same

Jon Ward takes a unique look at the changes from the aura that was candidate Obama to the rain-soaked reality that is President Obama:

President Barack Obama stood under a driving rain here on Friday afternoon, a black trench coat draped over his lanky frame, and looked out at the thousands of supporters, ticking off his accomplishments. He mentioned health care reform, ending Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, increasing fuel efficiency standards, and infrastructure investments. “You made this happen,” Obama told the crowd of an estimated 9,000 people on the football field at Cleveland State University. “But if that progress is going to continue, you’ve got to step up,” Obama added. It was an odd thing to say to people who had been standing in what was often a downpour for as long as four hours, many of whom were drenched to the bone and shivering. And the president seemed to realize the potential for his remark to come across as insensitive. “And I know I’m preaching to the choir here because you all are standing in the rain,” he said. “But a little rain never hurt anybody. Some of these policies from the other side could hurt a whole lot of folks.”

Hope is just a memory

During Obama’s speech, the pace of the downpour increased, bringing back memories of his rain-soaked speech the day before the 2008 election. But the circumstances then and now are quite different. Four years ago Obama was an inspiration, an upstart who had outclassed and outfoxed a veteran U.S. senator and war hero, and stood on the verge of a historic and overwhelming victory. Now, Obama, 51, is a gray-haired incumbent who maintains fervent support among some Democrats, but who has disappointed many others, not to mention independents or even Republicans who voted for a Democrat in the belief he would change the way politics works.

Hint of desperation

And despite a positive jobs report out Friday morning…he is on his heels for the first time in over a month. The urgency in Obama’s remarks, especially in Leesburg, accentuated the degree to which he has realized -– after his atrocious debate performance on Wednesday night in Denver -– that his reelection is not going to be an uncontested layup. Polls, which showed Obama opening up a lead in September, have begun to tighten. Obama on Friday seemed almost alarmed at the opening he had given to his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, in the wake of the debate where Romney was almost universally declared the clear winner. In Leesburg, Obama said there has been “too much progress” under his administration for him to be defeated. A loss to Romney, he said, would hurt the country. “I can’t allow that to happen. I won’t allow that to happen,” Obama said.

Not everyone is a fan

The positive vibes appeared to dissipate a bit later when Obama stopped at a downtown market, and asked the proprietor at Rolston Poultry how business was going. “Terrible since you got here,” said the man, who was not identified by name in the press pool report. When reached by phone, the man said he did not want to give his name, and told The Huffington Post that he had “nothing to say.”

Obama’s 1st Stop After the Debate is Wisconsin … I Guess it’s Not As Safe as the Polls Say

Could be those union members have long memories after getting stiffed by a President who said he’d march the picket lines with them and then found himself too busy in every state around Wisconsin to stop in to support their recall efforts:

President Barack Obama will hit the campaign trail following the Wednesday presidential debate, stumping in four states rated on the CNN Electoral Map as toss ups, according to schedules released by his campaign and the White House. On Thursday, Obama will hold an event in the debate host city – Denver – then continue on to Madison, Wisconsin, to meet with supporters, his campaign said.

He will then return to Washington before holding events in Virginia and Ohio on Friday. His Virginia event will be in Vienna, the White House said, before an event in Cleveland. Obama’s campaign said it was rescheduling a previously announced event in Columbus, Ohio, for the following Tuesday.

His Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, has not yet announced post-debate campaign plans. Both candidates are in debate preparation mode. Romney is in Massachusetts but plans to travel to Colorado on Monday, while Obama heads to Nevada for debate prep on Sunday.

Romney Out-Raises Obama in Ohio

Money doesn’t equal votes on a 1:1 basis, but localized fundraising advantages do speak to noteworthy enthusiasm advantages that typically go to the incumbent. That is not the case this go-around:

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney continues to out-raise President Barack Obama in Ohio, according to the most-recent campaign-finance disclosures. Romney has raised $3.2 million in Ohio so far, including $410,993 in June, according to the reports. Obama, meanwhile, has raised $2.5 million in Ohio, including $292,416 in June. Nationally, though, Obama has a significant advantage — he has raised $300 million for his re-election bid nationally, compared to Romney’s $153 million.

Geographic homes: Romney = Cincinnati, Obama = Cleveland

Romney has drawn his most support from donors in and around Cincinnati — raising well over $1 million there. By comparison, Romney raised $422,190 in the Columbus metropolitan area, $825,539 from Cleveland, and $133,117 in Dayton. Obama, meanwhile, has fared best in the Cleveland area, raising $817,592 there, compared with $530,620 in Columbus, $606,153 in Cincinnati and $154,231 in Dayton.

Spending in the Buckeye state

Both candidates combined have spent about $1.5 million in Ohio — and that’s not counting the millions of dollars worth of airtime they’ve purchased on TV, money typically paid to a media buyer who in turn buys time on Ohio stations. Money from their campaigns has gone toward payroll, telephone services, rent and, in the case of Romney, $637,027 for Marquis Jet Partners, a private-plane company based in Columbus. Obama’s Ohio money, meanwhile, has mostly gone toward salary of his staff — $262,028 as of the end of June. He also spent $10,251 on his May 5 re-election kickoff rally at the Jerome Schottenstein Center at the Ohio State University.

Battleground State Nuggets From Around the Romney Bus Tour

The Associated Press’ macro look at the Romney bus tour is chock full of goodies like the depleted Democrat strength in Detroit, the split focus between Pennsylvania and Ohio, the widening Romney electoral map  and much more :

Republican presidential challenger Mitt Romney is pushing to win a band of Midwestern states that voted for President Barack Obama four years ago and that generally have a long history of backing Democrats in White House elections. Romney faces hurdles and advantages in each state but his approach will leave Obama no choice but to spend time and money defending states he carried in 2008. That Romney is even making a play for the arc of states from Pennsylvania to Iowa also suggests his path to the 270 electoral votes he will need to win the White House may be widening.

Wisconsin momentum and “easy bake” ground game:

Before arriving in Iowa on Monday, Romney stopped in Janesville, Wis., an economically struggling, one-time manufacturing hub in the southern part of the state. Unemployment there is 9 percent, well above the state average of 6.8 percent for May. The national average is 8.2 percent. He toured Monterey Mills, a unionized company that makes fabric for paint rollers and the stuffing for toys like Winnie the Pooh. Wisconsin, which has not backed a Republican for president since Ronald Reagan in 1984, presents a new opportunity for Romney, almost exclusively due to Gov. Scott Walker’s triumph two weeks ago in a contentious recall election. Walker’s win, after an 18-month fight over public employee union rights, gives Republicans hope. It also gives Romney a corps of well-trained organizers and reams of voter data to put to use. But he still has his work cut out for him. Voters said in exit polls after the June 5 election that they trust Obama more to address the nation’s economic struggles — the chief argument for Romney, a former businessman — and the interests of the middle class. Obama also continues to have the advantage in urban areas, especially among minority voters, which each state except Iowa has. Although Romney aides say there is no Midwestern lynchpin, they argue that a competitive streak in Wisconsin is good for them in the entire region.

Iowa in focus:

Iowa, however, has trended Republican since Obama won it in 2008. Like nearly every state in the arc, Iowans turned down Democratic candidates for governor in favor of pro-business Republicans. Iowa voters dumped three state Supreme Court justices to protest their decision allowing gay marriage. Romney’s campaign also spent the year before the state’s leadoff nominating caucuses laying the foundation in this true swing state for a general election campaign. Iowa has voted Republican in every other presidential election since 1988. Obama, meanwhile, enjoys a special Iowa connection, having won the 2008 Democratic caucuses in Cinderella fashion. He’s already built a robust ground operation. He has spent nearly $5 million on advertising in Iowa, and has spent no money in Wisconsin since early in the year.

Continue reading

Quick Hits

Romney backers fight against a Nevada-like Ron Paul takeover in Iowa state convention

Air Force One causes flight delays in Cincinnati inspiring Delta agent Over PA: “I guess everybody can blame Obama

Ann Romney’s horse is an Olympian–qualifies for U.S. equestrian team

“I thought this, honestly, was one of the least successful speeches I’ve seen Barack Obama give,” said MSNBC political analyst Jonathan Alter

Skip the falsehoods, Mr. President, and give us a plan — Dana Milbank

Even the Washington Post Fact Checker says Obama campaign lying about Romney’s Massachusetts record

The12 has an instagram photo of the Romney bus stalking Obama in Cleveland

What does the drop in support among African-Americans for Obama tell you about North Carolina? It’s not a Battleground

Labor Unions and the Battlegrounds

The political world was understandably focused on Wisconsin this past week and spinning the results often presents more confusion than clarity.  But a big lesson was the impact of unions on state election outcomes.  The Wall Street Journal presents some incredible research on unions’ potential election impact in three Battleground states–Ohio, Colorado, and Virginia–in a post-Wisconsin world:

The one sure loser in the Wisconsin recall was organized labor. There is reason for Mr. Obama and the Democrats to be concerned about the decline of union power, particularly if Wisconsin is indeed some kind of turning point. It would suggest unions may be of less help to the Democrats in states they need to win, particularly in the 2012 issue environment.

Using the latest electoral breakdown from political analyst Charlie Cook, union membership by state unmistakably correlates to the likelihood a state votes Democrat or Republican:

Electoral Probability % of Union Workers
“solid Democratic” 17.7%
“likely Democratic” 15.1%
“lean Democratic” 14.6%
“toss-ups” 9.1%
“likely Republican” 7.6%
“solid Republican” 6.2%

That walk down the ladder in support is even more pronounced when you look at membership in public unions [the union at the crux of the Wisconsin controversy]– an orderly progression through “solid Democratic” to “solid Republican” states.

If only it were that simple. The Battleground states of Ohio, Colorado and Virginia illustrate the complexities of union membership translating to electoral wins:

Continue reading