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New numbers show Romney closing gap in Ohio

By SAM YOUNGMAN | Reuters
October 14, 2012

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney speaks during a campaign rally at the Golden Lamb in Lebanon, Ohio October 13, 2012.
(REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton)

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is recovering ground in the critical swing state of Ohio as he rises in the polls and crowd numbers swell after his strong debate performance last week against President Barack Obama.

Despite pundits and pollsters dismissing Romney’s chances in the state in late September, the Republican is now either tied or just barely trailing Obama in Ohio ahead of the next presidential debate on Tuesday night.

At an event with thousands of Ohioans on Friday night, Romney boasted of “a growing crescendo of enthusiasm.” He has spoken to several large audiences in Ohio this week.

“(Obama’s) campaign is about smaller and smaller things, and our campaign is about bigger and bigger crowds fighting for a bright future,” he said on Saturday.

No Republican has ever won the presidency without winning Ohio. Romney looks determined to put the state in his win column in the November 6 election after it appeared nearly out of reach last month.

After Saturday, Romney will have done 34 events in Ohio since securing the Republican nomination in April. Eleven of those, including a bus tour, came after the first debate on October 3.

Before the debate, polls showed Obama leading in Ohio by as much as 8 percentage points. From October 4 to October 10, the RealClearPolitics.com average of polls showed Obama’s lead at 1.3 points.

Also courting Ohio, Obama on Saturday touted the benefits of one of his signature actions, the rescue of the U.S. auto industry. The 2009 bailout has saved thousands of Ohio jobs, particularly in the Toledo area, and helped the state’s unemployment rate of 7.2 percent stay below the national average, Obama’s campaign argues.

“We bet on American workers and American ingenuity, and three years later, that bet is paying off in a big way,” Obama said in his weekly radio address.

“I want to see more cars on the road in places like South Korea imported from Detroit and Toledo and Chicago,” Obama added.

The Obama campaign also said that rocker Bruce Springsteen and former President Bill Clinton would appear at an Obama rally in Ohio on Thursday.

OHIO GROUND GAME

Obama’s campaign has an impressive “ground game” organization – much of it left intact from his 2008 election victory – to get out the Democratic vote in Ohio. But the Republicans are fighting back.

In the 10 days since the debate in Denver, the Romney team in Ohio has signed up thousands of additional volunteers, said Ohio campaign director Scott Jennings.

“Enthusiasm isn’t flowing our way just because Obama had a bad 90 minutes … it’s flowing because Obama has had a bad four years,” he said.

Four years ago, Obama won the state by almost 5 percentage points over Republican Senator John McCain.

Obama arrived in Williamsburg, Virginia, where he is doing preparation for the next debate with Romney at Hofstra University in New York state.

Senator John Kerry will again impersonate Romney in mock debates with Obama, and advisers David Axelrod, David Plouffe and others are also helping Obama try to avert a repeat of his lackluster performance in Denver. Vice President Joe Biden perked up the Obama campaign with a spirited showing against Romney’s running mate, Paul Ryan, in a debate on Thursday.

Romney spent more than two hours on Saturday morning in a Columbus hotel with his senior staff and Ohio Senator Rob Portman preparing for Tuesday’s showdown.

At a rally on Saturday, Romney previewed questions he wanted to ask Obama at the townhall-style debate, citing the drop in average median incomes and the increase in the number of people on food stamps since Obama took office.

“He’s now added 15 million more – more than the population of Ohio,” the Republican said.

Romney also assailed Obama for not labeling China a currency manipulator on Friday. The U.S. Treasury delayed a semi-annual currency report until after a meeting of the Group of 20 finance ministers on November 4 and 5, which makes it unlikely the report will be released before Election Day.

“Do you know what they said? ‘We’re not going to make any determination until after the election,'” Romney said. “Let me tell you, on day one of my administration, I will label China a currency manipulator. We’ve got to get those jobs back and get trade to be fair.”

(Editing by Alistair Bell; Editing by Peter Cooney)

(c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2012

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2 Responses to New numbers show Romney closing gap in Ohio

  1. Sandy Price

    October 14, 2012 at 11:47 am

    I think President Obama has thrown in the towel. The only way America can put 2 million people to work is to socialize the whole damn government. Romney will send us back to war in the Middle East or at least extend what Bush started. Unless Obama can stand up to the horrors of the new GOP, we might as well give in.

    What the Republicans have shown is that they want Romney to win this election over and above what is the best action for America. I’m to the point of letting America go. In my area of California, Romney has far more support than Obama. They want to win and return the white house to a white American. Why should I lose sleep over this obvious bigotry.

    Every action of Obama has been blocked and the man is a beaten man. Let the Republicans force America into being a Christian nation and watch the civil wars return. Don’t kid ourselves, this is an extension of our Civil War when Lincoln was the President.

    Someday the American people will realize that we are not casting a movie for a leader of the free world, we are trying to return to a land of the free. That is the illusion. America can’t handle being a free nation.

    Once Romney and Ryan get their teeth into the Constitution it will be changed to reflect the New Testament. We cannot try out Romney for a couple of weeks, once he is in the White House, the Prophet wins America for the Latter Day Saints.

    I’ve run into many Senior Americans who don’t give a damn as they are on their way out anyway. My generation did not prepare their kids to live in freedom. They promised them all the entitlements that they are now starting to receive. A lady who worked for me after two of my surgeries is now announcing that her daughter just had a baby making 5 generations of poverty. So why should I sweat this out? I never took a penny of welfare and my kids would never need it.

    My balliot is filled out and will be mailed in tomorrow and that will be the end of my involvement in Washington D.C.

  2. clb2012now

    October 14, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    What I want from the next debate is civility and upfront answers to the American posing the questions. I don’t want rhetoric that is spouted from the campaigns. I don’t want inflammatory remarks directed at the other candidate. I want a short explanation of what caused the “question” and how the candidate thinks it should be resolved.

    What I feared with Obama’s “Hope & Change”, each person interpreted it in their own way has happened. Obama never said what that change would be in 2008. It is why we are so driven for specifics this go round We need to be looking at skills, abilities, and experience right now.

    The media is not helping us get answers either. Report the facts and leave the opinion out of it. Then when you spout opinion, make sure it is obvious that it is opinion. Be fair to both candidates in every way possible. That means reporting everything not deciding what is worth reporting.

    Americans need to learn how to debate with civility not political correctness. It is okay to differ or disagree. It doesn’t mean the other person is a LIAR just that they see it differently. It doesn’t mean that the person is not concerned or looking at both sides. Take the name calling out of politics and put respect back in.

    Statistics are a tool and often they are right but they may not mean what you think they mean. The opinion part of statistics is what they are defined to mean. The opinion part is also the assumptions that have to be made to calculate the statistics. The only statistic that matters is the election results on November 6th.