Tag Archives: Columbus

Ohio in Focus

Ohio is where all the action is right now and Maggie Haberman at Politico has the five factors that may swing the Buckeye State for Romney:

[T]here are five key ingredients required for a Romney win in a state that presents the GOP nominee’s easiest and surest path to the White House. Much as the contest between President George W. Bush and challenger John Kerry hinged on specific factors in Ohio, the 2012 contest boils down to some very basic old-fashioned Ohio politics. Below are POLITICO’S five things that, according to longtime operatives familiar with the state, must happen for Romney to capture Ohio:

1. Win the Columbus media market

It reaches 19 of Ohio’s 88 counties, and Obama was the first Democrat in decades to carry the Columbus media market when he won in 2008. Obama won this area by just under 3 points in 2008…Obama and John McCain split the state’s two other large media markets in 2008 — Cleveland went for Obama and Cincinnati for McCain. But Columbus is the main battleground region now, and it shows. The central Ohio area has seen well more than 20,000 so far, according to media trackers — far outpacing the number that aired in the 2004 presidential race. Romney is now on par with Obama in terms of ad spending in the state, but was heavily outgunned for a long time. Romney also needed to reach parity with Obama on the airwaves not just in terms of raw dollars spent, but amount of ads. In the meantime, both Romney and Paul Ryan plan to appear in the state more than 15 times combined before election day.

2. Take back GOP-leaning suburban voters

It’s not enough for Romney to be on air heavily — he also needs to tweak his sales pitch. The GOP nominee has had to adjust his ad strategy so that it’s a softer sell for women and suburban voters, including those who tend to lean Republican in a state where there’s no party registration and who Obama captured in 2008 to strong effect. In North Canton, Ohio on Friday night, Romney’s pitch to women was part of his standard stump, but was clear nonetheless. Romney talked about school choice and education, an issue that tests well with suburban women, many of whom were on hand to hear the GOP nominee speak. A striking fact of the 2012 cycle has been the absence of Ann Romney in heavy rotation in advertising. Mrs. Romney appears at the end of the ads in the disclaimer photo alongside her husband, but she has not been a central focus (though she has stumped in swing states frequently for her husband). [A]n important bellwether to watch is Stark County, just south of the Cleveland area. It’s gone for the winner in every presidential election the last six times, except for one — the 2004 Bush-Kerry race, when the Democrat won it by less than two points.

3. Go for the coal

Romney’s campaign is betting that the electorate will look more like 2004 than 2008 — so it’s natural that the goal would be to shoot for Bush’s margins of eight years ago. [F]ocus on the coal industry in southeast Ohio, where the Obama administration’s policies are often described as the “war on coal.”

4. Independents’ day

Winning independents is something Romney needs to do everywhere, but in Ohio the indie factor is even more crucial — he must have a very strong showing with them. The silver lining for the Romney campaign, which it cites often, is that recent polling shows them winning independents in basically every survey, even ones where he isn’t winning overall. Obama had an edge with this group in 2008, but it’s more of a battle this time.

5. The great ‘Let it Go Bankrupt’ issue

If there is any issue that Democrats believe helps them above all, it’s the auto bailout. And if there is any issue that Romney’s campaign is clearly defensive over, it’s the auto bailout. Many Ohioans work in the auto industry and benefited from the Obama administration’s decision to bail out the auto industry — something Romney was against (though Romney states he was for a managed bankruptcy). Both of the campaigns are using the issue to their benefit. Just look at their statements recently — Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, an uber-surrogate for Romney this cycle, has accused Obama of making false claims about the bailout during one of the presidential debates. Portman penned an op-ed piece on the topic this week in a local Ohio paper. And the Romney campaign has gone to great lengths to highlight the case of Delphi, an auto parts plant that shuttered amid the bailout (the Obama campaign disputes the details).

Reporter Finds First Five Students at Columbus, OH Obama Rally Are Romney Supporters

This is rich (h/t @mattmargolis):

The cheering midst of a rally featuring President Barack Obama and a largely college-age crowd of 15,000 on the Oval at Ohio State University would not seem a likely place to encounter those not in the president’s corner. Yet, the first five students approached at random by a Dispatch reporter on Oct. 9 turned out to support Republican Mitt Romney and his aspirations of replacing Obama in the White House.

It’s not 2008 any more:

The must-vote adoration and enthusiasm for Obama isn’t what it once was among 18- to 29-year-old Millennials in central Ohio, a must-win area in a must-win state for presidential hopefuls. This is not 2008, when two-thirds of the youth vote broke big for Democrat Obama and his message of change amid the accompanying offer of making history by electing the first black president. This is 2012, with Obama running on a recession-riddled record. Job prospects are iffy for even educated young Ohioans. Some fear their generation is in danger of failing to match or better their parents’ now-dinged lifestyles.

Columbus and demographics

Millennials, an increasingly diverse and growing group representing 16 percent of Ohio’s population, are coveted by both Obama and Romney, with both making college campuses a frequent stop. And the biggest of them all, Ohio State and its 56,387 main-campus students, rests in the heart of Franklin County, which cast 50 percent of the presidential vote in a 20-county swath of central Ohio four years ago. Obama chose OSU, in fact, to kick off his re-election campaign at a May 5 rally…Franklin County typically is vital turf in presidential elections, with successful Democrats such as Obama relying on six-figure wins to overcome the GOP votes cast by the reliably Republican counties dominating central Ohio.

About that enthusiasm gap — Youth vote

But, courting and turning out the votes of youth, who are less reliable in going to the polls than older voters are, is proving more difficult this time around — a trend that could work against Obama’s re-election chances. National polls suggest Obama still enjoys a near 20 percentage-point advantage over Romney among young adults, but their enthusiasm has waned, leaving them less likely to vote than in 2008. Polling late last month by the Pew Research Center found young voters, who have cast a majority of their votes for Democrats in the past three presidential elections, are significantly less engaged than in 2008. Sixty-three percent of young registered voters plan to cast ballots this year, compared with 72 percent four years ago. And 61 percent call themselves “highly engaged” this year, down from 75 p ercent in 2008.

Herb Asher, a professor emeritus of political science at Ohio State, said youthful excitement over Obama has been tempered by the “real world and reality” of governing during tough times…Asher expects Obama to be a favorite again with Millennials in central Ohio but adds a footnote: “The real question is not so much the level or loyalty of support but turnout. … The youth vote is an integral part of his strategy and extremely important here.”

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.

Romney-Ryan Joint Rallies Friday in Detroit, Michigan and Saturday in Columbus, Ohio

Ill post the details when I get them:

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.

Flooding the Zone: Ohio Wednesday

Mitt Romney stumps in Ohio tomorrow with a few friends:

In addition to Mitt Romney and John Kasich, the following Republican shoguns will be campaigning in Ohio Wednesday:

  • Bobby Jindal (Columbus)
  • Jeb Bush (Hamilton)

Ohio Disaster Relief Center at Romney Headquarters in Columbus

Due to the devastating storms ravaging the mid-west and east coast, many states were declared disaster areas including Ohio.  To assist with disaster relief the Romney campaign is using its Columbus headquarters and campaign bus to assist relief efforts:

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s campaign is helping storm relief efforts in Ohio. Spokesman Chris Maloney says the state campaign headquarters in Columbus is open Sunday for donations of water, flashlights, non-perishable foods and other items needed in the aftermath of severe storms Friday evening that knocked out power to much of the state amid a heat wave. He says a Romney bus in Ohio this week for campaign office openings will be diverted Monday and Tuesday to deliver supplies to shelters, fire stations and churches in hard-hit areas. Nearly 700,000 utility customers remained without power Sunday morning. Maloney said the Romney campaign office received some 5,000 bottles of water by late morning. He said the campaign will ask the American Red Cross and other relief officials for guidance on where to take the donations.  “This is about helping people in their time of need,” Maloney said, calling the effort apolitical.

Headquarters Location and Hours:
1335 Dublin Rd.
Suite 110 F
Columbus, OH 43215

Monday – Friday

This type of charity is nothing new for Romney.  Famously, he closed all of Bain Capital and 30 partners and employees flew to New York to help find a partner’s missing daughter.

UPDATE: Official Romney campaign release:

The severe storms that ripped through Ohio have claimed 13 lives across our nation and left thousands without power in Ohio.  It could be several days before power is restored to the hundreds of thousands of Ohioans affected. The Romney for President bus is in Ohio this week and we’ve decided to put it to good use in the relief effort, but we need your help. If you’d like to make a donation to the relief effort, bring supplies to the Romney for President Headquarters located at 1335 Dublin Road in Columbus on Sunday between 10am and 7pm. We will load up the Romney for President bus on Sunday evening and send it to Southeast Ohio on Monday morning to deposit supplies at various relief centers. Here’s what we need:

*   Bottled Water

*   Non-perishable food items, such as beef jerky, granola bars, peanut butter, etc.

Bring your supply donations to our headquarters Sunday and we’ll ensure it gets to your fellow Ohioans who are in need on Monday. Thank you in advance for your generosity.

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.

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‘Romney For President’ Opens Ohio Headquarters In Columbus

Just as you can expect Kelly Ayotte with Mitt Romney next week when he visits New Hampshire, a favorite among the possible Vice President candidates was with the campaign when they opened their Ohio headquarters:

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney opened his Ohio campaign headquarters in Columbus today. Notably present, Ohio Senator Rob Portman, whom political analysts say is on the short list of candidates for vice president. The “veepstakes” as it is known in political talk is the next wild card as the presidential race takes form. Other candidates said to be in the running include New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Florida’s junior Senator Marco Rubio and the former governor of Minnesota, Tim Pawlenty.

Analysts say Portman would help Romney win Ohio, a battle ground state. No Republican has ever won the U.S. presidency without carrying Ohio, which went to President Barack Obama in 2008. When asked by reporters what he thought of a vice presidential bid, Senator Portman said he was very happy with his current job. Portman is originally from Cincinnati. The attorney and businessman served in Congress for 12 years starting in 1993 and is known to have a strong appeal to conservatives.

We mentioned many times the extensive roll-out of all-important field offices in Ohio.  This state is “ground zero” along with Virginia in the 2012 campaign. If one candidate wins these two, they almost certainly win the election so it’s great to see high level focus on this enormously important state.

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:

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