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Ohio on the Minds of Political Insiders Ohio on the Minds of Political Insiders

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Ohio on the Minds of Political Insiders

Who will win the swing state—Mitt Romney or President Obama?

What is the likelihood of Mitt Romney winning Ohio?


Highly likely: 0%
Likely: 6%
Not likely:



“Debate bounce goes over big in Ohio.”

Not likely


“One good debate does not reverse the trend, and the policies, and the improving economy in Ohio.”

“The relatively lower unemployment rate in Ohio and the benefits of the auto bailout are too much for Romney to overcome.”

“Ground game, ground game, ground game.”

“Being against the auto bailout is the kiss of death.”


“You needed a fourth option: jump ball.”

“Blue-collar workers in Ohio have swung more toward the Democratic side since last year’s SB 5 fight [on collective-bargaining rights]. Romney is the wrong candidate to get them back.”

“The unemployment rate is lower than the national average. Ohioans will vote with their pocketbooks and vote for an Obama second term.

“2004 in reverse. The energized Democratic ground game cuts Romney’s margins in the collar counties surrounding Dayton, Cleveland, Toledo, and Columbus.”

“Obama actually did save the auto industry, and he’ll get credit for it on Election Day in Ohio.”

“80 percent of the population of Ohio is the 47 percent of the people Romney insulted. If Obama doesn’t win Ohio, he loses the election badly.”

“Romney is a Michigan Wolverines fan.”

“The well has been sufficiently poisoned to prevent a Romney comeback.”

“The undecideds will swing back and forth, and everyone will follow these tracks until the bitter end. But Ohio was for Obama until this week and will go back to Obama ultimately.”

“His view down the nose at workers and working families—particularly those connected with the auto industry—will be his undoing in Ohio.”


What is the likelihood of Mitt Romney winning Ohio?


Highly likely: 7%
Not likely:

Highly likely

“Tsunami is coming. The Obama gravity-defiance act has been pierced.”


“If Romney can keep the focus on jobs and the economy, then he is in good shape.”

“He has closed the gap and positioned himself to win. If he does, he is the president.”

“He has to; otherwise, it is over.”

“Obama’s class-warfare campaign is losing its momentum. Columbus suburbs [are] key to Romney win.”

“All part of the plan. Call it Romney’s ‘Surge of the Undecideds.’ ”

“It’s been closing every month since the summer. The Obama magic has worn out in the Buckeye State.”

“This is where the enthusiasm gap catches up to Team Obama.”

“In the end, the economy will prevail, and Buckeyes will rightly hold the president accountable for his reckless assault on small businesses and larger job creators.”

“When the swing is on, a whole bunch of states will start toppling to Romney.”

“It is 50/50, but with his recent debate performance I’ll give edge to ‘likely.’ ”

Not likely

“The Ohio economy is doing comparatively well, and Obama has sold the state on the notion that it is because of his bailout of the autos, even though it is in fact because of the shale boom.”

“In the end, a great comeback will not be enough to offset getting crushed there for two months prior to the debate.”

“One state where class warfare may work.”

“If only the headline had been ‘Get Detroit Through Bankruptcy,’ Romney would take Ohio.”


Should pollsters weight their surveys by party ID, or should they measure only by adjusting their sample to race, gender, and other demographics and allow for changes in party-ID attitudes?


Weight by party ID: 51%
Sample only by demographics: 49%

Weight by party ID

“Weight by party ID where that exists, but demographic factors need to be included as well.”

“Generally speaking, party ID is the best predictor of how people will vote. Why make it harder than that?”

“Party ID is fine as long as it’s consistently measured over a comparable period of time.”

“You need as much information as possible about whether the poll respondents match the group of people who will vote.”

“Experience teaches us that there is a need to adjust for the types of voters who are reachable depending on the time and day on which pollsters call.”

This article appears in the October 13, 2012 edition of National Journal Magazine.

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