Mitt Romney’s recent opinion poll weakness in Ohio may not matter much to the GOP presidential nominee for two reasons.
First, given the shift in momentum after Wednesday’s debate, he may win the Buckeye state after all. And second, top Republicans see a path for their standard bearer to take the election without Ohio, The Hill
The state has earned its reputation as the key bellwether by backing every presidential winner since 1944, except for John Kennedy in 1960 — Ohio went for Richard Nixon.
At present, RealClearPolitics rates the state as leaning toward President Barack Obama. He had an average lead of 5.5 percentage points in the four polls compiled by Real Clear, going back to Sept. 1.
The latest poll, taken Sept. 30-Oct. 1 by NBC News/The Wall Street Journal/Marist College, shows Obama ahead 51 to 43 percent. But that survey came before the debate, and things may have changed since then.
In any case, party bigwigs from ace strategist Karl Rove to Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus have said in recent days that a loss in Ohio wouldn’t be a killer for Romney.
“There are 11 different ways to win without Ohio,” Rove said last week. Priebus echoed that this week, telling The Hill Wednesday, “Ohio is extremely important but I also know that we have other good things going for us right now as well: Wisconsin, Iowa, Colorado, Nevada.”
If he loses Ohio, Romney will likely need to win North Carolina, Florida, Virginia, Iowa, and Colorado. He probably also would need either Wisconsin or both New Hampshire and Nevada.
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