Romney must work hard to win Ohio

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and running mate Paul Ryan in Dayton, Ohio 25 September 2012 Mitt Romney is trailing Barack Obama in a recently released Ohio opinion poll

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney's supporters, waiting in the drizzle at the airport in Dayton, Ohio, for the man they want to be America's next president, could make all the difference in this election.

Under the sign "We need a real recovery", four people clutch four big red letters. O-H-I-O. Some think this state will spell defeat or victory for Mr Romney.

He has to work hard - an opinion poll out today puts Mr Obama eight points ahead. It is one of eight key battleground states, and perhaps the most important.

A local reporter tells me that while there are other routes to victory for Mr Obama, Mr Romney cannot afford to lose this state. It is the conventional wisdom.

Political supporters put up with a lot to be a backdrop for a few brief shots on TV. They have been corralled here for hours.

In their plastic rain macs they try to keep their spirits up. One speaker tries a sing along "We love Mitt Romney". It fades after four goes not, I think, from any lack of enthusiasm for the candidate, more because the song itself is rather lame.

A woman has a little better luck spontaneously getting the crowd going, by shouting "Mitt!" and calling for the response "Romney!"

Eventually, the man himself makes a fairly dramatic arrival as his plane slides into view just yards from the stage.

Ground game

Dressed in a red windcheater, he arrives with Republican vice-presidential nominee Paul Ryan, who is still the much better speaker.

Mr Romney ran through a campaign speech that has evolved a fair bit since I last saw him in the flesh.

Romney supporters in Dayton, Ohio 25 September 2012 Grassroots participation could be crucial to a Romney victory in Ohio

There was a great deal more about China, from currency manipulation to intellectual property theft, a fair amount on the Middle East unrest, as well as more general comments on the economy.

But the surprise for many was when he said President Barack Obama had not put taxes up - that was a plan for the second term.

Some are going to make a lot of this, and it does go against the conventional Republican case, but no-one in the crowd noticed the gaffe, if that is what it was.

However, the Romney campaign quickly put out a statement saying that President Obama has put taxes up and Mr Romney was "clearly communicating" that he plans to put them up some more.

Some think that in this state it is all over. One article explains what it calls "Obama's stunning Ohio turnaround".

It is a commonplace that the candidate is not adored by Republicans, but this crowd seemed pretty enthusiastic to me.

They have to work hard over the next few weeks on what is known as the ground game. Big speeches by political superstars matter, and so does costly TV advertising.

But the people leaving the rally clutching Romney signs to put up in their gardens had heard advice on how to win this thing - talk to neighbours, make sure they vote, apply for a postal vote (it makes it easier to check up people have voted), think of something novel - one speaker said she had found a note on a petrol (gas) pump that morning noting how much the price had gone up since President Obama had come into office.

If it is all over, no-one has told the supporters here.

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  • rate this

    Comment number 160.

    pulltheotherone (140),

    “… Under whose control did the biggest INCREASE in deficits take place?”

    Neither Bush nor Obama: The largest percentage increase in the U.S. Federal debt, the sixteen fold increase in the gross public debt from $16 billion in 1930 to $260 billion in 1950, occurred during the Democratic Administrations of F.D. Roosevelt and Harry Truman

  • Comment number 159.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • rate this

    Comment number 158.

    Curt Carpenter (156),

    "... I look forward to the people's decision."

    The Election Day approaches - patience is a virtue.

  • rate this

    Comment number 157.

    ref #156

    How is it shallow to vote on these issues

    A President has a record of failure
    his economic policies favor special interests like unions
    he has lowered the US standing in the world.

    Souds like Andrea and I are looking at this rationally unlike the Hope and change crowd

  • rate this

    Comment number 156.

    MagicKirin@152"No the fundamental issue is do people want to give 4 more year to a man who failed and was unqaulified."

    Sometimes I wonder if that's really how people like you & Andrea see the stakes in this election. Still, it beats abortion and gay marriage I guess.

    I want to believe you're not that shallow -- but it gets harder every year.

    Again, I look forward to the people's decision.

  • rate this

    Comment number 155.

    re. #134.Rusholme Ruffian: "Obama's second term is going to be an epoch of social revolution in the US. He should start off by introducing a religious tax like in Germany"

    Republicans would say: "Go ahead, make my day." He'd certainly be impeached for violating his oath of office. His party might be able to prevent his removal but he could forget about accomplishing anything afterwards.

  • rate this

    Comment number 154.

    @128 Looney Limey. You might want to do a little bit of research. The first two years of Obama's presidency the Democrats had unassailable majorities in both the House and the Senate. Following the 2010 elections they lost the House with a 62 seat swing to the Republicans, but still maintained control of the Senate, albeit with less seats. Probably why we haven't had a budget for over 3 years.

  • Comment number 153.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • rate this

    Comment number 152.

    ref #150 Rasmussen which is more relliable has it tied 46 46 with the rest undecided.
    ref #151
    No the fundamental issue is do people want to give 4 more year to a man who failed and was unqaulified.

  • rate this

    Comment number 151.

    The fundamental issue for this election is whether the United States is "every man for himself" -- with 47% of us written off as lazy and irresponsible, and 1% controlling 80% of the nation's wealth -- or whether we are a nation where we all work together, with each of us shouldering our fair share of the burden.

    I look forward to the people's answer, whatever it will be.

  • rate this

    Comment number 150.

    Gee Mark, I didn't know you really cared about...Romney. Its really over now. Gallup just came out with national poll that's up six points. Gallup had been trailing the other polls that are routinely showing gaps of 6-10 points with the battleground states. The notorious 47% tape is finally taking its toll. Plus, 60% viewed Romney's 47% negatively. Try to keep up, Mark. BBC wants results.

  • rate this

    Comment number 149.

    110. main street
    Not necessarily "old times," I am planning a protest vote against the GOP. For the first time in my life I will vote a straight Democratic ticket.
    Some other disgruntled Republican and independent voters have put the same message on blogs here and elsewhere. Bleed the GOP until they change, it worked on the DEM when they were too far left.

  • rate this

    Comment number 148.

    @147, that's a joke, right? i mean, you can't really be serious

  • rate this

    Comment number 147.

    ref #137

    Do you know anything about the Tea Party?

    You are just parroting DNC/MSNBC talking point.

    They are responsible well spoken people who believe in less goverment and responsible spending.

  • rate this

    Comment number 146.

    The 4 biggest budget deficits in US history (FY 2009 - FY 2012) all occurred under Obama.

    You are factually incorrect.

    *of course the 4 biggest budget deficits are going to be in those 4 years, it's residual from GW BUSH...if you take over w/already record budget deficits and you even add just $1, your going to have a new record budget deficit, you are factually ignorant

  • rate this

    Comment number 145.

    Texas and FL are doing well they are red states, California a blue state is about to go bankrupt
    ref #143 The Auto bailout only benefitedlabor unions a controlled bankrupcy would not have screwed the rest of us

  • Comment number 144.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 143.

    2. JettyMichael "Obama has failed to highlight any achievements except to save a couple of jobs in the auto industry."

    Telling childishly simple and easily checked lies is NOT the way to do it unless you are the FOX/GOP/TEA 24/7 Propaganda Service. Auto industry includes many parts suppliers, for THOUSANDS of jobs. and those workers know it and will vote.

  • rate this

    Comment number 142.

    138: Bengalman: please explain to me please;

    If, as I'm sure you believe, Republican ideology is the only route to future American prosperity, then why are all the most staunchly Republican, the reddest of the red States, ALSO the poorest, rank lowest in education AND have the lowest average income?

    The GOP is not a party for the people, its a party of fear and big biz

  • rate this

    Comment number 141.

    124 AndreaNY : #121 is the comment I think you are referring to

    Is that what you call a smart business move or a smart advocate for a presidential candidate

    This shows what Romney is a heart

    dishonest and devious to say the least


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