To hear Ohio Republican war horse and political sage Bob Bennett tell it, the 2012 GOP ticket of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan may not be leading in the polls in a state Mr. Romney cannot lose and still expect to win the White House, but that will all change when independents, those electoral holdouts who appear to be leaning toward the GOP if new polls are accurate, break four to one to Team Romney-Ryan in the final 10 days of the campaign.
In the latest National Gallup Tracking poll, President Obama and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney are tied 46-46.
The most recent National Rasmussen Tracking poll shows Mr. Romney the challenger holds one point lead over the incumbent president 46-45.
But before Mr. Bennett pops any corks in anticipation of his forecast coming true, he should ponder the results of another national poll, this one by CNN/Opinion Research showing President Obama would defeat candidate Romney by nine points, 52-43 among registered voters. Among likely voters, it tightens up to a two-point contest, 49-47
What Bob Bennett is banking on winning it for Romney-Ryan this year is the phenomena he recalls from the 1980 election, when newcomer California Gov. Ronald trailed then President Jimmy Carter but won when independent voters broke 80-20 for the Great Communicator in the final 10 days of the campaign.
With only 73 days until Election Day, Mr. Bennett’s prediction would be the kind of reversal of fortune Mitt Romney needs, as Team Obama, who will likely be out spent but not out organized, understands all too well that turning out the vote for their side is the key to winning Ohio and the White House again this year.
Appearing for the first time on stage together in Ohio, which is widely believed will be the key state that tips one of the candidates into the big win column, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan will be in Powell, Ohio Saturday morning to court more Buckeye voters to break their way, much as Mr. Romney did in his home state of Michigan Friday, by talking about a down economy and a dim future.
This campaign event will be the final appearance for the GOP ticket before their party’s convention starts on Monday in Tampa, Florida.
President Obama traveled to Columbus this past Tuesday, where he spoke on the campus of Capital University on controlling college costs.
“There are very few undecideds,” Bennett told CGE in Chillicothe two weeks ago, when Romney held three campaign events on the same day. The businessman turned politicians was joined on stage in Oho’s first capital city by Ohio Gov. John Kasich, U.S. Senator Rob Portman, who was one of his top three picks for running mate, and Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel, who won his first statewide race in 2010 and who is trying to unseat a political pro with decades of public service to his credit, Ohio’s senior U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown. “The rule of thumb is that there will be an 80/20 break for the challenger. In 1980, undecided voters broke for Reagan in the 10 days prior to Election Day,” Bennett said as confidently as if it was a law of political physics .
Bennett is basing his political punditry on the combination of social and fiscal conservatives, Tea Party fans and Independent voters veering away from an incumbent president whose record is dicey to a candidate who says all will be well again if he’s just given a chance.
Two polls that came out this week show Romney lagging Obama. In the CBS/New York Times/Quinnipiac poll, Obama enjoys a six-point lead, 50-44, which is significant since it shows Mr. Obama cracking the 50 percent mark.
Bolstering what Bennett says is Romney’s advantage with Independent voters, the CBS/NYT/QP poll has Independent voters falling for Mitt Romney by five-points, 48-43 percent. It also shows seniors are listing by eight points to Team Romney, 52-44 percent.
The Ohio Poll/University of Cincinnati released this week showed the president up but by only three points, 49-46.
The last Republican presidential candidate to win Ohio but lose the race was Richard Nixon in 1960. John F. Kennedy won that race by fewer than 120,000 votes nationwide.
The magic number to be elected president is 270, that’s the number of Electoral College Votes (ECV) a candidate must reach to be victorious.
According to Electoral-Vote.com, that tracks all 50 states, President Obama will top out with 297 ECV versus 212 for Romney.
Four polls from August 21 show President Obama will only a two-point lead over Mitt Romney. Four years ago, Sen. Obama beat Sen. John McCain 51 percent to 47 percent.
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