Tag Archives: Cuyahoga County

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 Barnstorms the Battleground Counties

Looking at his campaign itinerary Team Romney must be reading this blog!  I keed, I keed.  But honestly Battleground Counties is one of my favorite topics this election.  There is just tons of revealing data in these all-important voter hot-beds.  The Wall Street Journal picks up on one of the more revealing post-debate trends which is Mitt Romney is working on peeling off Obama voters while Obama fundraisers and keeps trying to fire up his base:

Mitt Romney is putting a new emphasis on visiting counties that voted for President Barack Obama in 2008, as he urges Republicans in swing states to help him push the president’s supporters to switch sides… In the aftermath of their first debate, both presidential candidates have also changed their presentation to voters: Mr. Obama, seen as lethargic in the debate, is delivering a more assertive message that focuses on promises he made and says he kept. Mr. Romney is speaking more about personal experiences, such as his work as a Mormon church leader, at a time when some polls suggest the negative image that many voters hold of him is beginning to soften.

Battleground Counties

Mr. Romney campaigned Tuesday evening in Ohio’s Summit County, which the president carried four years ago by 17 percentage points. Another target is Ohio’s Cuyahoga County, where he performed well in the GOP primary and where his campaign expects him to pick up general-election support from blue-collar Democrats and Jewish voters … Last weekend, Mr. Romney appeared in three counties in Florida that Mr. Obama carried in 2008 [Only St. Lucie County and Pinellas County went for Obama.  Seminole County went for McCain 51 to 48]. On Monday, he stumped in Newport News, Va., which Obama won by nearly 30 percentage points. Both states are important battlegrounds.

Undecideds and “soft support”

Polls suggest that only a small pool of likely voters, perhaps 6%, are undecided, though the group doubles in size when it includes voters who say they are leaning toward a candidate, rather than committed. Polling also suggests that Mr. Romney can make inroads with Obama supporters. A Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll conducted in September found that roughly one out of five Obama supporters said they would “probably vote for” the president, or were just “leaning toward” casting a ballot for him. These so-called soft Obama supporters gave the president lower marks for his handling of the economy than did other backers of Mr. Obama. Some 66% of the “soft” Obama supporters approved of his stewardship of the economy, compared with 87% of Obama backers overall.

Not all smooth sailing for Romney

Roughly half of the more-tentative Obama voters viewed the GOP nominee negatively, compared with 44% of all those polled. One question is whether and how much those opinions will change in light of Mr. Romney’s debate performance, his effort to reveal more of himself on the campaign trail and statements and policy adjustments, on matters such as immigration and taxes, that may bring a more centrist cast to his profile.


The Ohio Battleground Map

Larry Sabatos’ Crystal ball troop do some of the best work every election season.  Today Kyle Kondik writes up the Battlegroup map of Ohio, complete with battleground counties we love so much. Despite its decreasing electoral value (much like it’s neighbor to the East — Pennsylvania), Ohio remains all-important to the 2012 election:

Ohio, the great maker of presidents, remains vitally important in presidential elections because it is one of the biggest of the 10-15 truly competitive states in the Electoral College. But it does not pack the electoral punch it once did. On one hand, the Buckeye State does have the seventh-most electoral votes of any state (only California, Texas, New York, Florida, Illinois and Pennsylvania have more). Of those states, only it and Florida have voted for the winning presidential candidate in each of the past five elections. On the other hand is this sobering fact for lovers of the Birthplace of Aviation — the last time Ohio cast less than 18 electoral votes for president (its new total after losing two votes following the 2010 census), Andrew Jackson was carrying it on his way to his first presidential win in 1828. That was 184 years ago.

In President Barack Obama’s Ohio victory, more than his whole winning margin came from Northeast Ohio, which provided about two-fifths of all votes cast for either Obama or Republican John McCain (for the purposes of this analysis, third party votes were removed). As is shown on the chart below, Obama won 59% of the two-party vote in Northeast Ohio’s 20 counties. In the state’s other 68 counties, McCain received close to 52% of the two-party vote, to Obama’s 48%.

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Battleground State Voter Registration Concerns for Obama — Today’s Must Read

Shortly after the Wisconsin recall Karl Rove slipped some important data into a discussion about how Scott Walker carried the state. In short, Rove identified that Democrats were losing the voter registration drive in eight Battleground states. Dante Chinni in the Wall Street Journal picks up on this development and confirms that a decided strength for Obama in 2008 is a cause for concern in November:

Comparing the registration numbers in Ohio, Florida, Virginia, and Colorado now to where they were in November 2008 shows they are up in Colorado and Virginia, flat in Florida, and down in Ohio. By themselves those figures are somewhat surprising. Florida and Ohio arguably had the more important Republican nominating contests this spring, yet their registration numbers seem to indicate less interest. But looking at those registration numbers using Patchwork Nation’s geographic/demographic breakdown of county types, there is a bigger story in them – and one that should give President Barack  Obama some concerns about the voter pool he might be facing in November. There look to be problems for the Democrats in some key places.

Major problems for Obama in Ohio:

Of the four states we examined, registrations in Ohio may present the biggest challenge for Mr. Obama. There’s been a seven percent drop in registrations across the state since November of 2008, but the fall has been particularly steep in the state’s three Industrial Metropolis counties: Cuyahoga, Franklin and Hamilton, the homes of Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati respectively. Mr. Obama won Ohio largely on the strength of the vote coming out of those counties – he carried them by 24 percentage points – and at this point voter registrations in the three have dropped by more than 370,000 voters. In Cuyahoga alone, the drop is more than 220,000 voters. The Ohio presidential vote is often a nail-biter with Democrats pinning their hopes on Cleveland’s late-arriving tally. If these numbers don’t change that long wait could bring disappointment for the Obama team.

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Romney Bus Tours Battleground Counties

Even though we pointed out that the bus tour travels through all states won by Obama (complete schedule here), ABC drilled down a little further and identified that many of the stops were in all-important Battleground Counties — one of our favorite topics:

In New Hampshire:

Romney visits the towns of Stratham and Milford. Stratham is located in Rockingham County, in the southeastern most portion of the state. Barack Obama narrowly carried Rockingham in 2008, defeating Sen.  John McCain by about 1 percentage point. Milford is located in Hillsborough County, another blue county in 2008.  Obama carried this one by a margin of about 3 percentage points.

In Pennsylvania:

Weatherly and Quakertown are located in Carbon County and Bucks County, respectively, two counties that went blue the last time around. Obama won Carbon County by roughly 2 percentage points and carried Bucks County by about 9.

In Ohio there are no pure Battleground Counties on the tour. Brunswick in is red Medina County (McCain: 53, Obama: 45) but the town is right on the border of Cuyahoga County that Obama carried 69-30 thanks to strong city support in Cleveland.  Newark is in red Licking County (McCain 57-41), but its neighboring county is Franklin County that Obama carried 60-39. Troy is in lightly populated Miami County that McCain carried decisively (63-35 ) but its adjoining county is the far more populous Montgomery County that Obama won 53-46.

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