Tag Archives: Lake County

Seven Battleground Counties to Watch on Election Night

Same original author as the earlier piece (Chris Palko) but an election night spin on each county with few repeats.  This guy does good work. Lots of smart info:

Looking for some shortcuts when it comes to projecting which candidate has the edge Tuesday night? Once returns start coming in, turn your focus to these seven counties—they will be small scale indicators of that state and national results:

Prince William County, VA
Virginia will be one of the first states to report results on Tuesday night, and Prince William County is the most important county there. Romney needs to win the county to win Virginia. George W. Bush and Bob McDonnell were able to win the county rather solidly. There has been an influx of immigrants in the past decade, and as a consequence it has a somewhat more Democratic lean than before. This will also be a good check to see if the Romney and Obama campaigns’ assumptions about the demographics of the electorate are correct.

Lake County, OH
This is the closest county in the most important state. Lake County is the eastern suburbs of Cleveland and the best gauge for how the entire state will vote. In 2004, Bush won the county by the same margin as he won the state. Obama ran a bit worse than his state percentages in 2008 but was able to win.  Watching Lake County is the best shortcut for projecting Ohio results on election night.

Bucks County, PA
In the critical suburban Philadelphia area, Chester County is most likely going for Romney and Montgomery and Delaware Counties will go for Obama. The swingiest of them all is Bucks County, north of Philadelphia.  Monday’s Romney rally that garnered some 30,000 supporters was held here for exactly that reason. In 2004, Bucks went for John Kerry by three percentage points, the exact same margin as the rest of the state. It has trended right in the past few years, as Republican Pat Toomey won the county 53 percent to 47 percent in his 2010 Senate race. Romney has to keep the margins close in suburban Philadelphia, and he has to win Bucks to do so.

Jefferson County, CO
In a heavily polarized state, the Denver suburbs hold the balance of power. Jefferson County, along with its suburban neighbors, voted for Bush in 2004 by small margins and then flipped to Obama in 2008. Romney had one of his most memorable campaign rallies at Red Rocks Amphitheater, which is in Jefferson County. Whichever candidate wins this county is going to win Colorado.

Washoe County, NV
The dynamic of Nevada politics is Democratic Clark County against Republican outstate areas, with Reno in the middle. For Romney to win Nevada, he has to win Washoe County. In 2004 and 2008, it matched the state percentages for Bush and Obama. A win here doesn’t guarantee Romney a victory in Nevada, but it is a necessary component.

Racine County, WI
Racine County is slightly more Republican than Wisconsin as a whole. Bush narrowly won it in 2004, while he barely lost the state overall.  Even so, anything more than a narrow Romney victory would augur well for him in a county that is a representative blend of urban, suburban and rural areas. It’s also worth watching due to the potential gains in Southern Wisconsin that could accrue with Paul Ryan, their congressman on the ticket. The potential for adding independents and some Democrats, who have voted for Ryan for years, to the Romney column could be decisive in a close state.

Oakland County, MI
The county that Mitt Romney grew up in is worth watching for a few reasons. First, if Romney wants to pull an upset in Michigan, he must win Oakland County. Second, it is precisely the sort of northern affluent suburb Republicans have had problems with at the presidential level for the past 20 years. Gains here would be indicative of Romney strength in other affluent suburbs in key states and a significant difference between a winning Romney coalition and the previous winning coalition that George W. Bush assembled.

Romney +4 in Ohio Battleground County (Lake) — Suffolk Polling (Nov 4)

DISCLAIMER:  This is NOT today’s exit polling data.  The poll was conducted Nov 1 -4 and published Nov 5.

I wish I saw this yesterday as this is the exact type of Battleground County polling I would have loved to see this cycle.  Suffolk Polling does a great service digging down on this bellwether county and has some interesting results:

In Lake County, Romney led Obama 47 percent to 43 percent with Independent Richard Duncan receiving 4 percent and Stewart Alexander (Socialist Party) receiving 1 percent, while 2 percent were undecided and 4 percent refused a response. Romney led 49 percent to 44 percent among those planning to cast ballots and led 43 percent to 41 percent among those who had already voted. Duncan, an Ohioan listed on the presidential ballot, received most of his support from voters who have already cast ballots for him in Lake County, causing neither major candidate to reach a decisive 50 percent there.

“What better place to decide this presidential election than on the banks of Lake Erie,” said David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center in Boston. “A word of caution about Lake County. It is widely recognized as an Ohio bellwether, correctly predicting the last four presidential elections. But there have been some elections where it has trended more Republican. That was the case in 1996 and 2008, where Lake County voted for the Democratic nominees who won, but still leaned more Republican than the statewide vote.”

Below is a comparison of which presidential candidate won in Ohio and percentage of votes received statewide and the comparative vote of Lake County:

1996 – Clinton
Statewide
:    47 percent
Lake County: 44 percent

2000 – Bush
Statewide
:     50 percent
Lake County: 50 percent

2004 – Bush
Statewide
:     51 percent
Lake County: 51 percent

2008 – Obama
Statewide
:     52 percent
Lake County: 50 percent

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.