Without Ohio, Romney faces a hard road - San Jose Mercury News
CINCINNATI -- Fresh off his nominating convention, Mitt Romney is cranking up a well-financed political machine that will now bring its full force to bear on President Barack Obama, with a hailstorm of ads and nonstop campaigning.
But little of it may matter if Romney cannot win here in Ohio, where a loss would severely narrow his path to the White House.
That explains why the state has seen more presidential campaign ads than any other in the last three months, why it has assumed such a prominent place in the legal battles over voting rules, and why Romney, Obama and their running mates will all campaign here over the weekend.
"It's possible to win without Ohio," said Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio, chairman of the Romney campaign here. "But I wouldn't want to risk it."
Romney is running neck and neck with Obama in most national polls, but the story is different in many of the states that will decide the race for the necessary 270 electoral votes. Many polls in those states show Obama holding an advantage over Romney. In a Quinnipiac University/New York Times/CBS News poll released a week ago, Obama had a 6-point advantage over Romney in Ohio for the second month in a row.
Here's the challenge for Romney: He could win Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, New Hampshire, Indiana, Iowa and Nevada -- all states carried by Obama in 2008 -- and still fall short without Ohio and its 18 electoral votes.
The state, which has been doing
better than the nation as a whole by some economic measures, is a test for whether Obama can point to selective improvements in the economy and whether Romney can make the case that with a Republican governor, conservative policies like government spending reductions are promoting job growth.No Republican has ever reached the White House without carrying Ohio, and alternative scenarios strike fear into Romney's quickly expanding team in the state.