Destination 270

SMU Students Analyze the 2012 Presidential Election

Winning the Ohio Eighteen

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No Republican has won the White House without winning the Buckeye State of Ohio. Despite George W. Bush’s victories in 2000 and 2004, President Obama seems to be prolonging his 2008 title as champion of Ohio’s eighteen electoral votes.

Ohio holds prominence in the 2012 presidential election, as it is ranked the number 1 tipping point state (the probability that a state provides the decisive electoral vote) and the number 1 state for return on investment (the relative likelihood that an individual voter would determine the Electoral College winner) by the New York Times blog 538.

Recent polls on Real Clear Politics have Obama winning Ohio anywhere from a 1% to 7% margin. Another key race, Josh Mandel (R) vs. Sherrod Brown (D), is one of the most expensive senate races of 2012. Mandel, a young and fresh face of the Republican Party is a sharp contrast to the older Brown. However, Brown is ahead of Mandel 49-41 in Rasmussen polls.

According to the National Journal, close to $80 million has been spent on advertising for Ohio and even more will be spent in the next 49 days until the 2012 presidential election. Obama continues to supplement his ad spending with in-state appearances totaling twelve and outnumbering Romney’s appearances by nine visits.

As the Democratic Party caters to ethnic minorities and women, its efforts are neglecting a key constituency in Ohio, working class white voters.  Romney must build upon Obama’s stunted effort to captivate white working class voters by making more in-state appearances, purchasing more airtime for effective ads, and diminishing his image as a money hungry CEO. However, Obama holds a gem that he must sell relentlessly to Ohioans, the auto bailout. More than 10% of jobs in Ohio are somehow related to the auto industry and unemployment has maintained an impressive rate of 7.2%.

Both campaigns have strengths with the key state of Ohio, but it will all come down to strategy, campaigning, and execution to determine who will win the Ohio Eighteen.

Be sure to continue following to stay updated on Ohio, as well as other key states, and their impact on the 2012 Presidential Election.


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