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Ohio victory could seal the deal for Romney
The Hill ^ | 03/06/12 | Cameron Joseph

Posted on 03/06/2012 8:49:58 AM PST by Qbert

Mitt Romney could all but guarantee he’ll be the GOP presidential nominee by winning Ohio on Super Tuesday.

A win there will hand Romney a chunk of delegates as well as a shot of momentum, making it hard for his opponents to catch him and bolstering the former Massachusetts governor’s argument that he’s the best choice to beat President Obama in the fall.

“Ohio is a state that [Rick] Santorum cannot afford to lose,” said GOP strategist Alex Castellanos, who worked for Romney in 2008 but is neutral in this race. “If Santorum loses Ohio, it’ll be practically impossible to stop Romney.” Romney has crept back into a statistical tie with Santorum after trailing him by double digits at the end of February. Five polls out Monday had the race within the margin of error.

Both men have been focused on the state this past week, and spent Monday in back-to-back events there.

Even if Romney loses Ohio, he will likely remain the GOP front-runner, since he’s almost certain to win a large majority of the delegates up for grabs, adding to his substantial lead in the delegate count. 

But a loss would leave the Republican establishment gnashing its teeth about the long primary process and Romney’s inability to close the deal. It would likely reignite talk about how the field has been weakened and reopen the possibility of a contested convention.

“If Santorum wins Ohio, the jumper cables jolt him back to life for a while longer, which is not good for the party, not good for Romney, not good for anybody at this point,” said Castellanos. “They’re lighting cigars in the Oval Office if this race is extended.”

Ohio is also a crucial state in the general election: No Republican has ever won the presidency without winning Ohio. Republican strategists say a Romney loss there will inflame concerns that he can’t appeal to blue-collar and Midwestern voters.

But in a good sign for the former governor, Newt Gingrich said Monday that even if he only wins Georgia on Tuesday he’ll continue his campaign, and polls indicate he’ll win there. That would hurt Santorum, who said on Sunday that he needed a pure one-on-one contest against Romney to beat him.

Santorum will spend election night in Ohio while Romney will be in Massachusetts. He’s voting there on Tuesday but it would also allow him to downplay Ohio’s importance if he loses and permit him to pivot to a general-election message against Obama if he racks up big wins.

The next month could be rough for Romney, especially if he has the Ohio loss weighing down his campaign. Most of the next states to vote could be rocky terrain for him: Kansas, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Missouri. Romney has not done well so far in the greater Midwest, already lost a “beauty contest” caucus vote in Missouri and has struggled mightily in the Deep South.

But many predicted Romney will eke out a win in Ohio. 

“The polls put the race as too close to call, but underneath that is movement on the part of Romney,” said Professor Paul Beck of Ohio State University. “Romney is vastly outspending Santorum in Ohio, and has much better organization on the ground. Those things are important at the margins in a close contest.”

Beck said the recent flap over Rush Limbaugh’s controversial comments about a woman advocating for insurance to cover birth control had hurt Santorum, who had wounded himself by focusing too much on social issues leading up to Michigan’s primary, which he lost by three points. The former Pennsylvania senator had tried to avoid such topics this week.

“There is this perceived extremity from Santorum on some of the social conservative issues, which may be more salient now because of the Limbaugh flap and how people have reacted to that,” Beck said.

Tennessee is the other state to keep an eye on Tuesday. Romney has been within a few points of Santorum in polls of the state after trailing him by as many as 21 points just weeks ago.

“If Romney wins Ohio we’ll start to see the primary wind down, and if he wins Tennessee we’ll see it wind down a heck of a lot quicker,” said GOP strategist Ford O’Connell. 

Romney is expected to win Vermont, his home state of Massachusetts and Virginia, a large state where Santorum and Gingrich failed to make the ballot. 

Santorum, meanwhile, is favored in Oklahoma.

No matter how many wins he racks up, Romney is likely to get the biggest delegate boost, although all candidates will be far short of the 1,144 delegates needed to secure the nomination.

All the states voting Tuesday award their delegates proportionally, meaning a second-place finish would net him support.

But perception matters, and a loss in Ohio will hurt Romney even if he increases his delegate advantage. 

“We’re a long way off from 1,144 delegates, and right now the media narrative is at least as important to the Romney campaign as the delegates are,” said O’Connell.


TOPICS: News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: Ohio
KEYWORDS: romney; santorum; supertuesday
A vote for Romney is a vote for allowing Obamacare to live...
1 posted on 03/06/2012 8:50:08 AM PST by Qbert
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To: Qbert

SO the majority of the states haven’t held their Primaries and somehow if Mitt “Progressive Liberal” Romney win’s Ohio it’s all over?

Can you say Propaganda boys and girls?


2 posted on 03/06/2012 8:54:21 AM PST by SoConPubbie
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To: Qbert

Exactly.

I live in Ohio and I plan to vote for Newt


3 posted on 03/06/2012 8:56:18 AM PST by SMARTY ("The man who has no inner-life is a slave to his surroundings. "Henri Frederic Amiel)
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To: Qbert

Okay, Ohio FReepers ... do NOT vote for mittens!


4 posted on 03/06/2012 8:58:27 AM PST by al_c (http://www.blowoutcongress.com)
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To: Qbert

A vote for Romney is a vote for Obamacare, of that there is no doubt.


5 posted on 03/06/2012 8:59:59 AM PST by Venturer
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To: SoConPubbie

This is wishful thinking on the part of the editors of The Hill. If they had to pick one GOP candidate among those running, Romney would be there man, hands down. We’ll see if any of the candidates even breaks 40% tonight.


6 posted on 03/06/2012 9:00:13 AM PST by MSF BU
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To: SMARTY

Two votes in this home in Ohio for newt today. One of the workers this am said, “boy you republicans are out in force today. “. I said busy, huh? He said, “ so far, very.”


7 posted on 03/06/2012 9:04:40 AM PST by Toespi
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To: Toespi

My mom is 89yrs. old-I’ll be taking her to vote as well.


8 posted on 03/06/2012 9:11:23 AM PST by SMARTY ("The man who has no inner-life is a slave to his surroundings. "Henri Frederic Amiel)
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To: SoConPubbie

Show me a path to the nomination for Gingrich or Santorum that doesn’t involve winning Ohio.

I’d like to see it!

I’m a Santorum supporter, and I agree with the analysis here - he needs Ohio.


9 posted on 03/06/2012 9:23:37 AM PST by LeopoldvonRanke
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To: Toespi

I already cast my vote for Newt in Ohio too. I was the 4th one through the door this morning.


10 posted on 03/06/2012 9:23:57 AM PST by Finatic (I ran out of change and have given up on hope. FUBO, I am so sick of your sorry a$$ you effin punk)
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To: Toespi

I already cast my vote for Newt in Ohio too. I was the 4th one through the door this morning.


11 posted on 03/06/2012 9:24:05 AM PST by Finatic (I ran out of change and have given up on hope. FUBO, I am so sick of your sorry a$$ you effin punk)
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To: LeopoldvonRanke
Show me a path to the nomination for Gingrich or Santorum that doesn’t involve winning Ohio.

All I care about is denying Mitt Romney the nomination.

If we have to go to a brokered convention, so be it.

It is way too early in the process to start talking about this.

The two remaining conservatives in the race, Newt and Rick, just need to go out there and focus on winning as many delegates as possible.

I'm not interested in "what ifs"
12 posted on 03/06/2012 9:27:07 AM PST by SoConPubbie
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To: SMARTY

If every anti Mitt voter takes just one extra person with them to vote it could make a big difference.

Does your mother have a friend or two that needs a driver to take them to vote?


13 posted on 03/06/2012 9:35:44 AM PST by hoosiermama (Stand with God and Sarah, the Gipper and Newt will be standing next to you.)
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To: hoosiermama

They’re old time Democrats. They can find their own way!


14 posted on 03/06/2012 9:48:11 AM PST by SMARTY ("The man who has no inner-life is a slave to his surroundings. "Henri Frederic Amiel)
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To: SMARTY
I voted for Newt too. Romney seems like Obama lite, and Santorum just doesn't seem to me to have the gravitas for the job. Newt, despite his personal faults, has the intelligence and experience to be POTUS. However, I don't know if Newt is electable on a nationwide ticket.
15 posted on 03/06/2012 9:48:22 AM PST by IndyTiger
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To: IndyTiger

“...I don’t know if Newt is electable on a nationwide ticket.”

After Newt wipes the floor with “O” in a national debate, we’ll talk about it.


16 posted on 03/06/2012 9:50:45 AM PST by SMARTY ("The man who has no inner-life is a slave to his surroundings. "Henri Frederic Amiel)
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To: Qbert

At 3 pm I will proudly cast my vote for Newt here in Ohio


17 posted on 03/06/2012 9:54:06 AM PST by StPaulRevert (http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&feature=endscreen&v=wI9XnAaM8js)
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To: SMARTY

Early and often LOL


18 posted on 03/06/2012 9:57:40 AM PST by hoosiermama (Stand with God and Sarah, the Gipper and Newt will be standing next to you.)
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To: Qbert
Ohio victory could seal the deal for Romney......

and seal the GOP's doom.........

19 posted on 03/06/2012 10:03:55 AM PST by OB1kNOb (The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty. - Prov 22:3)
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To: Las Vegas Dave

FYI


20 posted on 03/06/2012 10:14:16 AM PST by Whenifhow
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To: StPaulRevert

I love you Newt but I had to change my mind and vote Santorum so Robamney doesn’t win Ohio


21 posted on 03/06/2012 11:34:01 AM PST by StPaulRevert (http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&feature=endscreen&v=wI9XnAaM8js)
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To: Toespi

My wife and I also cast our votes for Newt this morning. She went separately and met a friend who told her, “my husband is voting for Newt and I don’t want to split his vote, so I’m voting for Newt too.” Here’s hoping Newt can get a good amount of delegates tonight out of Ohio.


22 posted on 03/06/2012 12:10:12 PM PST by reegs
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