Ohio is the Key To Romney’s Hopes

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Oct. 21 2012 12:43 PM

The Key to Mitt Romney’s Potential Path to the White House? Ohio

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Mitt Romney speaks to a crowd at Shawnee State University in Portsmouth, Ohio

Photo by Ty Wright/Getty Images

Mitt Romney’s recent surge in the polls has made the presidential race much more of a contest than many would have predicted mere weeks ago. “Just a few weeks ago, the race was perhaps most remarkable for how unremarkable it was,” points out the Hill. Now, things have changed. Sure, President Obama still has the edge. But Romney’s potential path to victory is becoming clear and no longer seems as far-fetched as it once did. And the key to this possible victory? Why, Ohio, of course. Once again that one pesky state will play an important role in either candidate’s victory, but right now it seems practically impossible to see how Romney wins the White House without the Buckeye State, writes Bloomberg’s Albert Hunt.

As if we needed another reminder of how close the race really is, a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll released Sunday shows Romney and Obama tied among likely voters, 47 percent to 47 percent. In late September, Obama had a three-point lead among likely voters, and now seems to have lost some of his huge advantage with women, currently at 51 percent to 43 percent. Obama continues to lead among registered voters, 49 percent to 44 percent, illustrating what an important role get-out-the-vote efforts play in the president’s reelection hopes.

Until two weeks ago, it didn’t seem Romney really had a path to the White House even if he won Ohio. But now it seems it is much clearer as polls show he is tied or has a small lead in several of the battleground states, notes Reuters. As things stand now, the presidential race will be decided by eight states, all of which Obama won in 2008: Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, Viriginia, and Wisconsin. Polls have shown Romney gaining ground in Florida, Colorado, New Hampshire, and Virginia. Yet even a victory in all four would not mean much without Ohio, where Obama has held a steady lead for several months.

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Republicans are expressing confidence that momentum is going their way and the trend will continue until Election Day, notes NBC News. "The enthusiasm and energy are on our side,” said Ohio Sen. Rob Portman.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.