Ohio: 30 Days Away

I admit that I am fairly concerned about Ohio’s vote next month.  The September polls that were showing a 6-10 point Obama lead are tightening up after the first Denver debate.  I shared in the skepticism of the samples being skewed to the Democrat side, but when each and every poll shows the same result, there’s an instinct to begin believing it.  I remember hearing years ago that polling firms that had a bias also still had an interest in being right, so they would put out whatever story they wanted through September and October as long as they revised it to match the truth by November.

Both Romney and Obama have made weekly stops here in Ohio for the last month.  Obama will usually make his stops in the cities like Cleveland, Toledo, and Cincinnati, no longer making visits to places like Tuscarawas County that helped him to pad his margin of victory in 2008.  Romney’s visits have been to the outer suburbs of the major markets in places like Lake County, Akron, and to Paul Ryan’s Miami University between Dayton and Cincinnati.

Nate Silver of the 538 Blog has the Obama chance of winning Ohio at 79%, but he also has Ohio as the most likely tipping point state.  Whoever can win Ohio’s 18 electoral votes will have an easier path to victory.  Other close states at the moment are Colorado (9), Iowa (6), and New Hampshire (4) and even if Romney wins those three (as well as Virginia and Florida, two states that Silver still has as blue), an Obama victory in Ohio would put him over the 270 mark.  If Romney wins Ohio (plus VA and FL), then he still needs to carry one of those remaining swing states to win the election.

Other states that I was hoping would be more competitive are the Great Lakes states of Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan.  Minnesota is not on the Great Lakes, but it is the Land of 10,000 Lakes so we include that state as well as Illinois which are completely unwinnable.  The Great Lakes states are like dominoes where Indiana is the most red followed by Ohio.  If Ohio doesn’t fall the Republicans way, then it’s very unlikely that any of the other states will fall.

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