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Romney’s Rust Belt Surge Threatens Obama’s Firewall
Foxnews.com ^ | Published October 18, 2012 | Chris Stirewalt

Posted on 10/18/2012 8:13:11 AM PDT by GonzoII

“I hear Pittsburgh is very nice this time of year.”

-- A senior Romney campaign staffer talking to Power Play about the strategy for the closing weeks of the campaign.

Two weeks ago, Mitt Romney trailed in five Rust Belt battleground states by an average of 6.9 points in the Real Clear Politics Average of polls. This morning, his average deficit was just 3.2 points.

While all 11 swing states have moved his direction since the Republican nominee’s boffo performance in his first debate with President Obama, Romney has seen the most significant improvement in the core column of the swing states: Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin and Iowa.

Power Play readers have long known that the 2012 election would come down to the nation’s industrial heartland. Yes, Florida, Virginia and North Carolina are crucial for Romney. And certainly the president needs to hold on to his Western firewall in Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico.

But this election, like most in recent memory, was always going to be about how those folks in the I-70 corridor and surrounding areas would vote. With 70 electoral votes up for grabs – votes that Obama swept in 2008 – the battleground stretching between Allentown, Pa. and Sioux City, Iowa has been the main front in this political war.

This has been increasingly Democratic territory for 20 years. In five elections, only Ohio and Iowa have voted Republican at all. In 25 contests in that time, the GOP has triumphed just thrice, Ohio in 2000 and 2004 and Iowa in 2004.

Long ago, this was the Republican Party’s stronghold. But as the economy declined over the last 40 years and the nation’s economic engine shifted to the South, the Red Team has found a less receptive audience in the Rust Belt for a message of....

(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...


TOPICS: Editorial; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: Iowa; US: Michigan; US: Ohio; US: Pennsylvania; US: Wisconsin
KEYWORDS: firewall; iowa; michigan; obama; obamas; ohio; pennsylvania; romney; romney2012; romneys; rustbelt; surge; threatens; wisconsin
"Republicans saw some of their greatest gains in 2010 in these five states, picking up 11 House seats two Senate seats. But Democrats assumed that Romney, a second-generation CEO, would be unable to replicate the success"

Are they any less fired up now??

I think not.

1 posted on 10/18/2012 8:13:19 AM PDT by GonzoII
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To: GonzoII

The sad part of this article is how uncompetitive Republicans have become in this region over the past 20 years. Through the 80s, the GOP picked up most of these states. Even after the 80s, the GOP picked up at least one or two of them. Now the GOP has to struggle to pick up one of them.


2 posted on 10/18/2012 8:18:02 AM PDT by Opinionated Blowhard ("When the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.")
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To: GonzoII

It’s nice to hear these kind of things, but to make them believable, I will neeed to see Romney making some Ad Investments and appearances in PA and Michigan.


3 posted on 10/18/2012 8:19:11 AM PDT by Old Retired Army Guy
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To: GonzoII

If he’s going to call it the I-70 corridor, then it includes Indiana. Indiana has gone Republican several times over the period of time he references. It just did not do so in 2008. But that was the aberration.

If he really wants to talk about Rust Belt, predominantly Dem heartland states, his “I-70” corridor needs to loop north to include Michigan and exclude Indiana. And perhaps widen out at Illinois to grap Wisconsin and Missouri.

But it was a clever metaphor. Image over substance again.


4 posted on 10/18/2012 8:20:23 AM PDT by Houghton M.
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To: GonzoII

Obama is up 4 in PA and MI and up 1 in WI - three traditional blue states which he won by double digits in 2008.

His so called firewall states (IA, NH, NV and OH) are essentially tied. So there is no firewall.


5 posted on 10/18/2012 8:20:27 AM PDT by nhwingut (Sarah Palin 12... No One Else)
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To: GonzoII
All Obama has to do is get out the vote. The numbers are with him unless half the Dems in Philly stay home.

It is possible to get Pa if we can capture Pittsburg.

6 posted on 10/18/2012 8:20:53 AM PDT by Sacajaweau (r)
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To: Opinionated Blowhard

That B.S. about how “the Democrats are the Party of the WORKIN’ MAN!” has been drilled very deep into people’s skulls around here for generations. It’s gonna take a major concerted effort to blow that apart.


7 posted on 10/18/2012 8:21:37 AM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
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To: GonzoII

Let’s get those steel furnaces working again!!! Let’s use our cheap coal and cheap natural gas to revitalize our heavy industry. Let America manufacture again. Chinese Labor advantage? Use robots. Let’s make stuff again!!!

GOG, STEELERS!! (Man, that hurt.)


8 posted on 10/18/2012 8:23:09 AM PDT by SC_Pete
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To: GonzoII

Let’s get those steel furnaces working again!!! Let’s use our cheap coal and cheap natural gas to revitalize our heavy industry. Let America manufacture again. Chinese Labor advantage? Use robots. Let’s make stuff again!!!

GO, STEELERS!! (Man, that hurt.)


9 posted on 10/18/2012 8:23:18 AM PDT by SC_Pete
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To: GonzoII

Indiana has voted for the Republican presidential candidate for the last 40 years, except 2008.

http://www.270towin.com/states/Indiana


10 posted on 10/18/2012 8:24:29 AM PDT by Houghton M.
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To: SC_Pete
"Let’s make stuff again!!!"

Bump!...I'm gonna tattoo that on my forehead!!..;0)

11 posted on 10/18/2012 8:30:52 AM PDT by GonzoII (Quia tu es, Deus, fortitudo mea...Quare tristis es anima mea?)
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To: Opinionated Blowhard; All
“Through the 80s, the GOP picked up most of these states. Even after the 80s, the GOP picked up at least one or two of them. Now the GOP has to struggle to pick up one of them.”

Did you know that in Nov 2010 Republicans took control of the entire state of Michigan? I'll guess that you didn't.

That's right, Dems control nothing on the state level.

Governor, House, Senate, SOS, AG, Courts, Everything is controlled by the Reps by veto-proof margins.

12 posted on 10/18/2012 8:36:11 AM PDT by Beagle8U (Free Republic -- One stop shopping ....... It's the Conservative Super WalMart for news .)
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To: GonzoII

3 homes on my mom’s street have Romney signs. It is a Pgh suburb, but I don’t recall that many signs for either candidate in 2008.


13 posted on 10/18/2012 8:40:08 AM PDT by PghBaldy
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To: Opinionated Blowhard
The tide has been changing in case you missed the 2010 midterms. Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin and Iowa all have GOP governors.

The state legislatures are controlled by the GOP in Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. In Iowa the GOP controls the House by two-thirds while the Dems control the Senate 26-24.

The GOP must get a handle on voter fraud in these states. If the Reps win Ohio, the race is over. And they certainly have good shots at the others. Obama is on the ropes. The pundits have failed to recognize the huge groundswell is this country fueled by the tea party and the silent majority of Americans who are sick and fed up with the direction of this country. The ultra-liberal Obama administration is out of step and out of touch with the American people. 2010 was just the opening salvo in the repudiation of Obama.

Here in VA, I have never seen such an energized and organized GOP, even in the liberal bastion of Fairfax County. The Obama administration has no idea of what is coming. "They that sow the wind, shall reap the whirlwind."

14 posted on 10/18/2012 8:44:10 AM PDT by kabar
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To: nhwingut

I’m living in PA, right outside of York. I honestly don’t see how Romney can possibly overcome the black and hispanic votes in York, Harrisburg, and Philly. Those cities are hellhole garbage dumps that are going to go overwhelmingly for their enabler.


15 posted on 10/18/2012 8:46:52 AM PDT by CaribCarter
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To: CaribCarter

Yeah. I don’t believe Romney has a shot in PA. It’s fool’s gold. My point is that these traditional blue states (MI, PA, WI) are razor edge now, and so the idea that Obama can somehow claim a firewall in traditional swing states (NH, NV, OH, IA) is laughable.

It’s a presupposition. There is no firewall.


16 posted on 10/18/2012 8:54:40 AM PDT by nhwingut (Sarah Palin 12... No One Else)
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To: Houghton M.

The Rust Belt is overdue for a fundamental alignment shift, and with RADICALS ruling the democratic party, its going to happen. Democrats in the rust belt are not limosine liberals or hard core communists... With the extremists taking over the Democratic party the Rust Belt is due for a long term realignment as working class white voters abandon the party of Marx.

Will this happen? Well I don’t know this election it is going to happen, without doubt, and if the dems keep trying to legislate like this is a european social democracy a long term shift and realignment will occur in the rust belt states.

Obama never had a prayer carrying the rust belt.. YOu can’t piss in the faces of Catholics and Working Class Whites for 4 years and then tell them, they should be happy about it.

Obama has no chance at IA, IN, WI or OH.. not a damned one will go for him this time... IL and MN ar the only two safe states for Obama... MI and PA can swing... PA isn’t going to swing though if Romney put ads on the air... And so far, that’s not happenting in PA.

If it doesn’t Obama will likely hold PA but only by a very slim margin. And if PA is only held by a slim margin ther eis no way in heaven or hell that Obama will carry Ohio, WI, IN or IA. MI and PA have 2 big cities that skew their overall vote D by 5-8 points... If Obama is only up a point or two in PA, and/or MI he doesn’t have a prayer in states like OH, WI, IA and IN that do not have such megacities dragging them down.

I can tell you this much, PA is within a point or two with no ads for Romney on the airwaves, and if PA goes Romney election night without him even fighting for it, Obama will lose states NO ONE is even considering vulnerable.

I see Obama getting no more than 42-43% of the popular vote nationwide.. though due to the population distribution today the EC wont’ reflect just how massive a routing he’s going to get.

Fight like its neck and neck, but I honesly do not believe Obama can get over 42-43% of the vote, and he’ll be damned lucky to get that.


17 posted on 10/18/2012 8:56:22 AM PDT by HamiltonJay
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To: kabar

Shhhh... don’t tell anyone ... the real firewall this election is the Tea Party ... Shhhhhh ... please don’t tell.


18 posted on 10/18/2012 8:59:03 AM PDT by AFPhys ((Praying for our troops, our citizens, that the Bible and Freedom become basis of the US law again))
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To: nhwingut

You’re right on target, and I didn’t mean to suggest that you thought PA was in play. IMHO, PA will never again be in play for Repubs until we see the “gentrification” of York, Harrisburg, and Philly.

York may have a chance, what with the upgrading of the area around the new ballpark. Harrisburg is decades away — there is now a mere two-block area where you can safely walk in the entire city, and the mayor is an exceptionally obtuse Obamunist. As to Philly, don’t know; haven’t been there since Rocky’s statue was at the top of the steps.


19 posted on 10/18/2012 9:03:39 AM PDT by CaribCarter
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To: CaribCarter
I’m living in PA, right outside of York. I honestly don’t see how Romney can possibly overcome the black and hispanic votes in York, Harrisburg, and Philly. Those cities are hellhole garbage dumps that are going to go overwhelmingly for their enabler.

PA is 83% white compared to the national average of 78.1%. 11.3% are black compared to the national average of 13.1%. Hispanics make up 5.9% of the population compared to the national average of 16.7%. The foreign born make only 5.6% of the population compared to the national average of 12.7%.

In terms of demographics, white voters will determine who wins PA. Voter fraud is the one variable that could make the difference in a close election. Prediction: Obama will not win PA by 10% like he did last time. It will be much, much closer.

Reps in blue, Dems in red -- 2008

20 posted on 10/18/2012 9:06:53 AM PDT by kabar
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To: Buckeye McFrog

“That B.S. about how “the Democrats are the Party of the WORKIN’ MAN!” has been drilled very deep into people’s skulls around here for generations. It’s gonna take a major concerted effort to blow that apart.”

The beltway GOP is too collegial. While Reid & Pelosi curb stomp them they refuse to fight back. If we fight like dims we will win. The facts are on our side, the “rich” vote Democrat! The GOP is the party of the tax paying middle class. So tell it like it is.


21 posted on 10/18/2012 9:08:54 AM PDT by lodi90
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To: CaribCarter

York is turning into a bedroom community for Baltimore.
The sudden influx of Peoples Republic of Marylanders has certainly not helped the situation either.


22 posted on 10/18/2012 9:09:30 AM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
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To: CaribCarter
In 2008 York County went for McCain, 109,268 to 82,839. In Dauphin County (Harrisburg), Obama won 69,975 to 58,238. So, perceptions are not always reality.

It was Philadelphia County where Obama picked up a 480,000 vote cushion. He won PA by about 600,000 votes. Voter fraud in Philly is the real margin of victory along with Alleghany County (Pittsburg), which Obama won by 100,000 votes.

23 posted on 10/18/2012 9:36:24 AM PDT by kabar
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To: GonzoII

I live in SW PA (Pittsburgh). I travel 22 miles each way to work, half of that trip through several neighborhoods, the rest on the parkway (highway). I have seen dozens of Romney signs in yards, signs along the road, even at businesses. I have seen two Obama signs. two.

In 2008, Obama bumperstickers were everywhere. I see the occassional 2008 sticker but have seen only 3 2012 stickers for Obama. I’ve seen more Romney bumperstickers.

This is in the eastern suburbs of Pittsburgh. One of the areas I drive through in my commute is a blue collar, dem controlled area with a large black population. No Obama signs, but a few Romney. Its pretty surreal... In my borough, I’ve seen dozens of Romney signs, even 3’x5’ signs in yards... the only signs I’ve seen with Obama’s name are the Stop the War on Coal, Fire Obama signs.

I travel to Washington and Greene County alot as well. Romney stickers and signs but no Obama... I was in Brookville, Jefferson County last week. Romney signs and bumper stickers EVERYWHERE! No Obama. I am hopeful.


24 posted on 10/18/2012 9:41:51 AM PDT by RayBob (If guns kill people, can I blame misspelled words on my keyboard?)
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To: Sacajaweau

Pittsburgh isn’t the issue with PA, never was... Philly is what drags PA Dem.. that region alone moves the state 5-8 points democratic. Harrisburg and Pitt are non starters.

If Philly was not part of PA, PA and OH would be nearly identical politically in terms of how the states would go.

Ohio doesn’t have to overcome a Philly (with well over 10% of the entire states population in the city proper) dragging it left.. So if Obama is only pollin up a few points in PA... he’s got no chance in Ohio.

AS to winning PA, you don’t have to win Pittsburgh to win PA.. you just have to come out of Philly without getting completely overwhelmed. You pull that off, as a republican and you can win. I firmly believe PA is winnable for Romney if he fights for it. If Obama has a lead here at all its just by the slimmest of margins, a few percentage points at best.


25 posted on 10/18/2012 11:54:07 AM PDT by HamiltonJay
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To: kabar

There are a lot of misconceptions about PA by people who don’t live here.. they just see the voter registration deltas and buy into things that just aren’t true.

PHILLY is what drags PA left, easily costing 5-8 points in any election cycle typically that the rest of the state must counter. If Philly was not part of PA, this state would be damn near close to as RED as any souther state is these days in national elections.

2008 State was overwhelmed out of Philly and disgust with Bush/Bush Fatgue.. whatever you want to call it repressed Republican turnout overall here.

I feel in all the conversations and things I’ve done this cycle here, Obamas lead here is maybe a few points at best, and that if Romney decided to fight, get on the airwaves and FIGHT for PA he could win it. Way things stand now I’d say Obama holds it buy by just a few points.

If Romney starts advertising and visiting that could change.

However, if Romney wins PA without even fighting for it, that means you aren’t just looking at a win you are looking at a route. If that should happen, states absolutely no one is even talking about being in play will move to Romney’s column.

However as I said, right now, I’d say Obama holds the state but only by a few points since Romney isn’t fighting for it.


26 posted on 10/18/2012 12:00:37 PM PDT by HamiltonJay
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To: CaribCarter

There are 43,000 people in York. It’s not something that can overwhelm the rest of the state, like Philly does.


27 posted on 10/18/2012 12:28:57 PM PDT by SoothingDave
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