Former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell tells Newsmax that the key swing state of Ohio is now a “jump ball,” with polls showing former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney threatening to overtake a lead some Barack Obama supporters considered almost insurmountable.
Prior to the Oct. 3 debate, Blackwell dismissed polls showing President Obama with a 9 point lead, insisting “Romney has a chance to win Ohio.” If the race is close, Republicans’ superior get-out-the-vote machine in the Buckeye State could put Romney over the top, he said.
The latest RealClearPolitics poll average shows Obama nursing a mere 2.2 percent advantage in Ohio. Although there are several pathways to the 270 Electoral College votes needed to capture the presidency that do not involve Ohio, pundits often point out that no Republican has ever become president without carrying that state.
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“It is a jump ball,” Blackwell said just before the start of Tuesday’s debate. “That’s why as these polls tighten, the thing to look at is the level of enthusiasm. All of the sudden, again sticking with sports analogies, Obama was a fighter who was on his toes. He’s now on his heels, as Romney on his toes is moving forward.”
Blackwell has urged Romney to specifically appeal to Ohio voters by holding up energy development there as a model to be pursued across the nation to reinvigorate the economy.
“Thematically he’s been doing that, and I think he will be very comfortable doing it tonight. Because once he gets into a rhythm on a theme, he is pretty difficult to beat,” Blackwell says.
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