Mitt Romney is going to struggle on teh electoral college…especially in Ohio. Time is ticking by and things are getting harder for him not easier:
Can Mitt Romney lose Ohio and win the election? Not likely.
Assuming that President Obama takes Ohio and that Romney wins Florida, Romney would need to win 50 of the remaining swing state’s 53 electoral college votes. If Romney loses both Ohio and Florida, where he now trails by about a point, he has essentially no chance of winning. (This analysis is based on the Real Clear Politics electoral map.)
The critical question, then, is whether Romney can win Ohio. With the standard caveat that anything could happen between now and November, it looks increasingly doubtful.
The Real Clear Politics average of polls over the past month gives Obama nearly a five-point lead in Ohio, with the most recent poll giving him a six-point lead. As with polling at the national level, the numbers have moved very little over the past several months. Romney has led in just three of the 23 polls released since the beginning of the year. The average of polls released in April gave Obama the same five-point lead that he now enjoys.
Obama beat John McCain by a seven-point margin—53 to 46 percent—in the popular vote in 2008. The faltering economy was often cited as the reason for Obama’s victory. The same bad economy is now cited as Obama’s great weakness.
Three things are preventing Romney from winning Ohio:
Sherrod Brown’s campaign, Ohio’s relatively strong economy, revitalized unions and the renewed focus on Catholicism’s social-justice tradition—are a perfect storm of bad news and bad luck for Romney. Can he win the presidency in spite of them? Stranger things have happened. A month or two of terrible economic data before the election might trump them all.
Short of that, Romney’s best hope is to stay in close touch with the Catholic bishops. It’s going to take a miracle.