After visiting victims of Isaac in Louisiana, Mitt Romney swept into Cincinnati to campaign before a huge crowd with Speaker John Boehner even as Paul Ryan campaigned at the season opener between the Ohio State and his alma mater Miami University. (Ryan’s Redhawks lost to the Bucks as expected, but many Redhawk alums are Ohio State fans, and if you are going to lose a game, lose the first game of the Urban Nation era.)
The invasion of the Buckeye State by Romney/Ryan is going to intensify for all the reasons noted in Sunday’s lead story in The New York Times. It is possible for Romney/Ryan to win without Ohio –replacing those crucial 18 electoral votes with the votes of Wisconsin and Michigan, for example, or by turning Pennsylvania red– but Ohio is the crown jewel of the “2012 is 2004” scenario, and it will go early on election in the “2012 is 1980” scenario. Once again my home state is at the center of presidential politics.
Romney/Ryan will pour resources into Ohio in support of the five good reasons to expect the Buckeye State to vote for a big change at the top:
1. The state’s successful leadership is GOP. Under Governor John Kasich the state has turned around, and voters living there know what he did. Obamians want to argue it was the president’s massive spending on GM that saved the state, but of course the folks who live there know that it is Kasich who balanced the budget, embraced all sorts of new industry but especially the oil-and-gas boom brought about by the Marcellus and Utica formations, and who leads an energized state every day. Ohio Senator Rob Portman will be doing debate prep with Mitt Romney all week but they will also be talking statewide campaigning in Ohio as no doubt Romney did with the Speaker yesterday.
2. Obama’s EPA threatens the oil-and-natural gas industry which is helping lead the Ohio turnaround. Governor Kasich is a frequent and welcome guest on my program, and he is always careful to point out that Ohio’s dropping unemployment is only partly the work of the energy boom, and that the energy boom is best served by careful regulations —at the state level. Obama’s EPA, under momentary lock-down, will spring forth to destroy fracking if Obama is re-elected, and the northeast and central parts of the state that are just now beginning to feel the impact of the new discoveries and technologies will see their prospects dim again if Obama’s hyper-regulators can bring their war against energy back to the state.
3. Ohio’s Catholic vote knows the president is waging war on the Roman Catholic Church through the HHS regulations. I spent five days in Warren, Ohio, my home town, in mid-August, and found very few Obama supporters. Of course I was mostly with Catholics, and the sort of Catholics who attend Mass, and this group –many of whom overlooked their pro-life views to give the president a chance in 2008– knows about the assault on Catholic schools and hospitals launched by the president and his HHS.
4. Ohio’s Jewish vote, at last 150,000 strong, is no longer solidly Democratic, and the president’s undercutting of Israel is known and understood by the state’s Jewish voters. Some will excuse it, as this article notes, but many more won’t.
5. Josh Mandel is waging a great campaign against uber-leftist incumbent Sherrod Brown, ranked as the most liberal member of a United States Senate even though the Senate includes Barbara Boxer and Al Franken! State Treasurer Mandel, a decorated Marine combat veteran and former student body president of OSU, is an indefatigable campaigner who has already closed large gap and turned the race into a dead heat in the most recent polls. Mandel is from Cleveland, is Jewish, and ran the biggest vote-getting campaign of all in the statewide races of 2010. His organization is out in force again. (You can help both the Romney/Ryan and Mandel campaigns via contributions via my ActRight list, where 100% of your donations go to the campaigns you select from the list of key races.)
Ohio will not in the end be close. It wasn’t close in 2004 though Dems like to recall the screwed-up exit polls that led John Kerry to think he was winning for a few hours. Romney could easily top George W. Bush’s margin of more than 100,000 if both Romney and Ryan keep working the state, from the western agribusiness to the resurgent northeastern corner of Youngstown-Warren and of course the southern areas of Ryan’s college years in Oxford Ohio, home of the Miami Redhawks.
(Ryan’s taking heat from the lefties for misstating his marathon time on my show two weeks ago. His brother was already giving him grief over his mistaken recollection and the attempt by the Obamians to turn a mistaken recollection of a running time from 22 years ago into a campaign issue tells you just how bare their cupboard is.)
With the importance of Ohio once again obvious to all, I am very glad to have added AM 1300 WMVO in Mount Vernon to the list of my Ohio affiliates led by AM 1420 WHK in Cleveland and AM 1450 WMOH –home of Redhawk sports!– in the TriState area and Cincinnati area.
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