Polls showing President Barack Obama leading GOP challenger Mitt Romney in Ohio are “assuming a turnout for President Obama that is simply not going to happen,” Ohio Rep. Bill Johnson tells Newsmax TV.
“It is a very, very close race. There is no question about that. I don’t pay a lot of attention to the polls because they’re distorted. They’re oversampling Democrats,” Johnson, a GOP member of the House Natural Resources Committee, tells Newsmax in an exclusive interview. “There are no statistics to justify that it’s going to happen.
Watch the exclusive interview here.
“In my district alone, as of two weeks ago today, Gov. Romney was up by 19 points. Now, John McCain won this district, but not by that much. With that kind of lead in this district, that gives you some idea of what the temperament around Ohio is.”
Johnson — who is in a re-election battle against former Democrat Rep. Charlie Wilson, whom he defeated two years ago — has been campaigning with Republican vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin.
Both are working hard to attract uncommitted voters.
“We need to keep doing what we’re doing: keep the focus on jobs and the economy,” Johnson said. “Gov. Romney knows how to create jobs. He’s a business owner. He knows what it means to balance a budget and make a payroll.
“Paul Ryan. There is no one in Washington that knows more about the fiscal issues that America faces, what’s got us into this mess and what it’s going to take to get us out.
“Paul Ryan is the architect of two budgets. The Senate hasn’t passed a budget in nearly three years – and he’s the architect of the only budgets that have been proposed that will balance the federal budget and begin the process of cutting spending while at the same time saving and strengthening Medicare.
“And when you’re talking about jobs and the economy, you can’t avoid talking about the natural resources that are in play here in Eastern and Southeastern Ohio: shale and coal,” Johnson added. “I was the lead sponsor on the ‘Stop the War on Coal Act’ because thousands of families have been devastated by losing their jobs or paying higher utility rates because of the administration’s War on Coal.
“Gov. Romney and Paul Ryan have got a plan that will put our people here along the river back to work and that will strengthen Medicare for our seniors and make sure that that benefit is there for future generations.”
Johnson added that he is concerned that changes in Ohio’s election laws relating to absentee ballots and provisional ballots could delay the outcome of the presidential election by as many as 10 days.
“Certainly, nobody wants to see this thing dragged on. But there is a process in place – and that provisional balloting process is a process that the secretary of state has put in.
“This year, every registered voter in the state received an application for an absentee ballot, and the last count I heard was that some 8,000 absentee ballots had not been returned. Those people will have to fill out provisional ballots in anticipation of, perhaps, their mail-in ballots showing up sometime later. That’s why you have that gap between November 6th and November 17th.
“We hope it doesn’t come to that but, again, we want to make sure that every voter in Ohio gets to exercise their constitutional right to vote – and the secretary of state has done a good job making sure that we have process in place to do that.”
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