Though it has often been suggested that the winner of Ohio will walk away with the presidency, in 201,2 that repeatedly asserted chestnut might well be true.
Counting states that lean towards Romney and are likely or solidly in his corner, Real Clear Politics (RCP) claims the Governor currently has 206 electoral votes. Obama has a total of 201. There are ten states which are considered toss-ups. They are (with their electoral votes): Colorado (9); Florida (29); Iowa (6); Michigan (16); Nevada (6); New Hampshire (4); Ohio (18); Pennsylvania (20); Virginia (13); and Wisconsin (10).
According to an article written by National Journal White House correspondent Major Garrett, the Obama campaign appears prepared to cede both Virginia and Florida to Mitt Romney. Apparently, Obama’s advisors have suggested a more efficient way to spend his remaining campaign resources.
Wins in Virginia (13) and Florida (29) would put Romney’s electoral vote total at 248. Add in Ohio (18) and Romney would have 266. He could then reach the necessary total of 270 electoral votes with a win in one of any number of remaining toss-up states: Colorado (9), Nevada (6), New Hampshire (4), Iowa (6) or Wisconsin (10) for example.
But should Romney lose Ohio, his path to 270 would be extremely difficult, perhaps even impossible given current polling numbers. As Garrett puts it:
If Romney loses Ohio, he would need to win Iowa, Nevada, and New Hampshire to reach 273 electoral votes. There is a scenario where Romney could lose Ohio and New Hampshire but win Iowa and Nevada and one electoral vote from the 2nd Congressional District in Maine (the state allocates electoral votes by district vote) and capture the bare minimum of 270 electoral votes.
As for Obama, given expected wins in Pennsylvania (20), Michigan (16) and Wisconsin (10), his total would rise to 247. Should he win Ohio and its 18 electoral votes, he would sit at 265. A win in either Iowa or Nevada with 6 votes each would put him over the top.
For once, it appears the pundits may well be right–Ohio really is the key for a Republican victory in 2012.
Here is some good news from Rasmussen and its 3 day tracking poll. As of the 18th, Mitt Romney was up 2 points on Obama, 49-47. These numbers INCLUDE one day of post-debate number 2 reaction!