Electoral Vote: All eyes are on Ohio
It’s unclear what impact Tuesday night’s presidential debate will have on the race, though one would imagine that the impact will be minimal. There’s still not much margin for error in the race as a major gaffe could swing the election in one direction or the other.
But what we’re seeing now is a trend toward Mitt Romney in some crucial swing states, and perhaps an admission from President Barack Obama’s campaign that they may be about to surrender some ground, according to the National Journal:
What also became clear after the dust began to settle from the rumble on Long Island was the electoral map has narrowed and Obama’s team, while conceding nothing publicly, is circling the wagons around Ohio, Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada. Plouffe said that Obama remains strong in all four states, but he would not discuss the specifics of internal polling or voter-contact analytics, saying only that Obama has “significant leads” in all four places.
It is uncharacteristic of Team Obama to concede any terrain, but Plouffe offered no such assurances about Obama’s position in North Carolina, Virginia, or Florida. Romney advisers have seen big gains in all three states and now consider wins likely, although not guaranteed, in all three. They are similarly upbeat about prospects in Colorado but not confident enough to predict victory. That Plouffe left Colorado off his list of states where Obama’s leading and can withstand a Romney surge might be telling.
There has been talk of a tie in the Electoral College, which would send the race to the House of Representative, where Romney would win. However, that’s unlikely. But looking at the more realistic scenarios, let’s say Romney wins Colorado, Florida, and Virginia, he only needs to pick up Ohio to win the election. The National Journal notes that Romney’s team thinks they have a shot in Wisconsin, but only “theoretically.” And even if Romney does take Wisconsin, which is unlikely, and lose Ohio, he’d still lose the election.
Some Republicans are pointing to yesterday’s Gallup poll, which showed Romney at 51% and with a 6-point lead over Obama, but let’s keep in mind that a national poll has no real weight since we don’t elect our president by popular vote.
While that poll shows the pulse of the nation swing away from Obama, the bad news is that Romney, though he has gained some ground, but he still trails by a little more than 2 points in Ohio. The importance of Ohio to Romney cannot be stressed enough. No Republican has ever won without the Buckeye State and they haven’t picked a losing campaign since going for Richard Nixon over John F. Kennedy in 1960.
According to polling averages from Real Clear Politics, Obama still techincally leads Romney in the Electoral College, 294-244. But looking at the trends in Virginia, which show Romney leading in the most recent polls, and keeping Colorado and Florida in his column, here is how the race is shaping up with 19 days left: