As the polls come in one swing state after another showing Romney with a lead, it appears that Ohio is going to be bell cow for the whole race.
So I looked at the past 3 races to get a beat on what it's going to take for Romney to win Ohio.
Here are the results of the past three Ohio races..........
Let's start with the total vote counts in '04 and '08. All the campaigns in these years had huge Ohio ground games, which accounts for the total vote being so much higher than 2000.
I think it's probably safe to assume that this year's vote total is going to be similar to the past two elections; roughly 5.6 million votes cast. There's some evidence that the McCain vote was suppressed because of evangelical no shows but that only works to Romney's favor.
Now let's look at McCain's total vote of 2,677,820. I cannot think of any scenario in which one McCain voter would switch their support to Obama this round. In my mind, if you weren't inclined to vote for Obama four years ago, why would you vote for him today? The great economy?
That means that to take Ohio, Romney needs to flip about 135,000 Obama voters from '08.
A hundred and thirty five thousand votes is well within the Bush '04 count which is probably a republican's total upside.
How likely is this to happen?
Consider the following difference from '08
1) The economy, not exactly running on all cylinders.
2) A republican governor and secretary of state, which should limit the number of illegal democratic votes in Cuyahoga county.
3) The Romney war chest. It's absolutely huge and ready to dump money everywhere.
4) Coal miners
5) Talk to a few unemployed 25 year olds who were so bright eyed and bushy tailed in 2008.
6) Delphi pensioners sold out during the auto bailout.
7) Kasich, Portman, and Mandel are all about the state with their individual infrastructure, something McCain had none of in 2008.
8) Romney is not McCain. McCain so pissed off evangelicals, many opted not to show up. These people are foaming at the mouth to get into a voting booth this go round.
With all that said, how does Romney lose?