Ohio is 'bull's eye state' crucial for Obama, Romney to win White House: WP


Washington, Oct. 29 (ANI): President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney are using their full arsenals to win the crucial swing state of Ohio, which will decide the outcome of the 2012 Presidential Election.

Ohio has played a central role in presidential campaigns for many years, but at no time has its significance been as great as in 2012.

The Buckley state has 18 electoral votes and no Republican has won the White House without winning it. The state is the classic bellwether, picking every presidential winner since 1964.

According to the Washington Post, Obama and Romney are engaged in a high-stakes battle for the state's 18 electoral votes. If Obama wins them, Romney's path to the 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency becomes almost insurmountable.

Two months ago, Obama had a small lead in Ohio. A month ago, after Romney's '47 percent' comment, Obama's lead rose to eight to 10 points, according to several public polls.

In the aftermath of the debates, Romney's campaign has been infused with fresh energy. Some recent polls showed the president with a slender advantage, but the newest survey, released by a consortium of Ohio newspapers, showed Obama and Romney now tied at 49 percent each.

A handful of other states remain in play. Florida is the biggest of all the battleground prizes, with 29 electoral votes. It is a must-win for Romney. Both campaigns expect Virginia to be a nail-biter. Colorado and New Hampshire appear exceedingly close. The Obama campaign has refused to give up on North Carolina, though Romney is favored there. Wisconsin, too, is expected to be close.

Still, because of its centrality in the electoral-college calculations, Ohio continues to draw the most focus and intensity, with the battle being waged at all times and on all fronts.

Since the political conventions, Romney has been in Ohio on 12 different days, holding 27 events. Ryan has done 19 events in 12 days, according to his campaign.

Obama's campaign said the president has been here seven days since his convention, holding 10 events. Biden has held 10 events on six days of campaigning.

The strategists assigned to Ohio will tell that running a campaign in Ohio is like running a national campaign. Ohio is very complex with five regions and three major cities.

Obama's campaign has set a strategy designed to highlight the improvements he made in the state and to draw a sharp contrast with Romney on the auto bailout in particular.

Aaron Pickrell, the Obama campaign's chief Ohio strategist, said he expects to see similar results this year. "We're running the same campaign as in 2008, but we're just better," he said.

Obama officials contend that the race here is more stable and dispute that Romney truly has momentum here. (ANI)