. . . or, is there a way for Romney to win without Ohio?
It will be difficult. Romney is making serious headway in national polls but the state swing state polls remain stubbornly out of reach for him. Specifically he cannot make a breakthrough in Ohio and I think it might be gone because Obama has just tarred him with wanting to let the car companies die and with them these voters jobs. To win, Romney needs to sweep the South, grab Ohio and win one more state. That is a tough need to thread. Even if he takes VA, NC, and then add Ohio; Obama still wins 272 to 266. In my analysis, there are only four states left:
- New Hampshire
First, take all of this under the assumption that Romney takes Florida, North Carolina, and Virginia while Obama takes Wisconsin and Nevada. That could of course not happen - certainly Florida and Virginia are very tight and Wisconsin is close as well. And if the night starts with Obama taking Florida and/or Virginia; this election is over before it starts for the President.
First fact . . . if Romney doesn't win Ohio he's not winning anything. If Obama wins Ohio, Romney would need a clean sweep of NH, CO, and IA. So to win this, Romney needs Ohio PLUS another state out of IA, NH, and CO. Ohio plus a tag team partner is the only way Romney wins this election, along with a complete sweep of the South.
Second fact . . . Obama has way more outs than Romney. If you count the full slate of swing states as NC, VA, FL, OH, IA, WI, CO, NH, and NV Obama can afford to lose more of these than Romney can. Obama's electoral ceiling is 347, Romney's is 285. Of the states above, its fascinating to me that we might come back to where it starts. After Ohio, I think the two biggest opportunities for Romney to win are New Hampshire and Iowa. Romney has a tighter road to manuever right now, but the state polls in those states seem to be moving his way. But not in Ohio.
Again, like every year, it comes down to Ohio. Well, for Romney it comes down to the Solid South, Ohio, New Hampshire, Colorado, and Iowa. He sweeps that then he wins. If he sweeps that and loses Ohio, he wins. Its an awful tough road to plow.