What to Watch For In Ohio Tomorrow

Ohio is considered a vital GOP pickup this fall, as no Republican has ever won the presidency without winning here. Our midterm election’s results send mixed signals: a $40 million Big Labor smear campaign convinced Ohioans to overturn public union reform, but we also voted 66 – 34% to block Obamacare.

Consistent with the whipsaw nature of this primary, polling mid-February suggested Ohio may be a lock for Rick Santorum. Quinnipiac registered a 7-point Santorum advantage in separate polls of likely voters completed 02/12 and 02/26. On 02/15, Rasmussen polling showed Santorum with a staggering 18-point lead, and the University of Cincinnati’s Ohio Poll conducted 02/16 to 02/26 indicated Saontorum was up by 11.

Heading into the February 22 Arizona debate, Santorum looked to be the last heir to the “not Romney” throne. Could he maintain enough momentum to roll Mitt Romney on Super Tuesday, despite Romney’s gold-plated ground game?

The debate was Santorum’s chance to shine, but he didn’t weather attacks from Romney and Ron Paul as well as he could have. I’ve been enthusiastic about zero candidates since Rick Perry dropped out; the Arizona debate finally convinced me to vote for Mitt Romney. How many other Ohio conservatives had a similar reaction to the snippy, discouraging tussle between Romney and Santorum?

In many cases, it won’t matter: Rick Santorum’s name will not be on the ballot in 3 of 16 Congressional districts tomorrow. Add to this news that Santorum failed to submit a full slate of delegates for 6 additional districts, and even a victory for Santorum in Ohio would be followed by an asterisk.

An NBC/Marist poll conducted yesterday shows a statistical dead heat. The in-inevitable Romney may yet win Ohio, in spite of himself and his campaign’s dicey consulting choices. Francesca Chambers at Red Alert Politics suggests Sen. Portman has buoyed Romney’s ailing Ohio operation in the past week. It doesn’t hurt to have enough cash to account for 80% of the total TV ad spend in Super Tuesday contests, either!

Ohio’s employment picture is brightening, but economic issues remain a huge concern here. Will Ohio Republicans take a chance on the author of Romneycare, or the guy barraged with questions about birth control? Whoever wins Super Tuesday and the eventual nomination, November in Ohio should be a contest between uniquely American ideals and Obama’s ideal America.

Other races to watch:

  • Expect Josh Mandel – who is endorsed by Sen. DeMint and has already raised millions for November – to be the hands-down nominee for Sherrod Brown’s U.S. Senate seat.
  • Ohio GOP State Central Committee races have been heated. The party’s ugly power struggle continues, with Chairman Kevin DeWine’s ability to work with Governor Kasich and others up for debate. If Kasich supporters win a majority of Committee seats and DeWine remains in charge, kinks in the Ohio GOP’s inner workings could damage general election campaigns.

Don’t doubt Barack Obama can be beaten in Ohio. While Kasich’s approval ratings tick into positive territory, Obama remains underwater. The idea of papering over problems with “stimulus” spending may have overstayed its welcome. And remember, Obama for America must contend with the awful record of Sen. Brown, who flaunts Obama’s worst traits like a crazed Progressive peacock.

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Cross-posted at jasonahart.com

10 thoughts on “What to Watch For In Ohio Tomorrow”

  1. Jason, why should we support a Dole/McCain redux? Romney will have no leg to stand on against Obamacare, is uniquely tied to the 1% which will re-energize the occupiers. Frankly, I don’t think Mitt will energize the grass roots support needed to beat Obama. The Evangelicals will stay home, as will the tea party. The Republican establishment is all over him which just tells me the establishment needs to go. I’m sick and tired of punditry telling me we need a moderate. We need a candidate that can present a clear difference to Obama. This field is not the best we have to choose from, but the clearest difference to Obama is Rick Santorum, not Mitt Romney

    1. Chip, I certainly appreciate your concerns. Were I convinced Santorum is a reliable small-government conservative, I would happily risk the damage of constant media misdirection on the social issues. I had my doubts, and Santorum only made those worse with his performance in the Arizona debate.

      If conservatives surrender to Obama because the GOP nominee is disappointing in certain respects, we’ll deserve just as much blame as the “moderate,” “electable,” establishment types you rightly ridicule!

  2. Lets give it up on Santorum and rino romney, together they don’t have the brain power or world vision of Newt. Neither one has for any intents and purpose given any thought to our security and religous freedoms except to repeat their campaign mantra. It is because of their childish sniping at eash other and the other candidates that has caused consternation among the conservative base and it is pretty clear that Ron Pasul is not in it to become our nominee but to muddy the waters and help Romney with his anti ads against Santorum and Newt.

  3. You’ll not see conservatives “surrendering” at all to Obama, they will show up and vote. However, when November rolls around and if Obama beats Romney you’ll see conservatives saying, “we told you so”. The “Reagan” Democrats want a clear alternative to Obama, if they don’t see it they’ll go with the “devil they know”, and Romney will lose.

  4. Unfortunately, there are no real fiscal conservatives in this race anymore that are electable. Romney isn’t and Santorum CERTAINLY isn’t. And Paul has proven unable to catch on anywhere.

    With Santorum’s numbers plummeting among Republicans, we already know how well the focus on social conservatism is playing.

    Our candidates just suck this year. We need to pick the one who will embarrass us the least.

  5. Mitt Romney stands for absolutely nothing. Time and time again he has passed on opportunities to endorse or stand with the Tea Party Cause. Once he gets the nomination he will know that the base will vote republican no matter what, which will make it easy for him to go to the center, where he was as Governor when I lived in Massachusetts. He is just another McCain, a panderer, a flip flopper based on what is popular at the time, and a RINO.

    I would rather have Newt or Santorum, both are flawed, but at least they recognize the Tea Party and the need for smaller government. Romney will not be able to outspend Obama like he has his Republican opponents. Side by side the choice will be Obama vs. Obama-lite.

    Just a shame this is the best we could come up with.

  6. Critics hit Romney job-creation record
    Cite workers that left Massachusetts on Washington Times 02/27/12.
    On Romney’s job creation & unemployment rate reduction, please go to this website. The website states his claims are not true.
    please read the following comment originally posted in azcental.com on
    sunnyday6 Feb-27 @ 5:53 PM
    Breaking News: Romney Lied During the Last Debate
    This is only an issue because Romney has made it an issue by being pro-choice in MA and then flip flopping by claiming to be pro-life now. According to fact checkers Mitt Romney lied during his last debate. His health care plan did require the Catholic church to pay for free abortions and he did not consult church leaders yet he complains about Obama’s health care plan for the same thing. What else will he lie about?
    He whines about federal spending yet he used 6 million of it to pay for rearranging the lawn chairs for the Olympics and his Confederate buddy Ron Paul spent 398 million a year. Now Paul is in trouble with a campaign donor for double dipping for travel expenses.
    Romney whines about No Child Left Behind yet he supported it in 2006. H…e is such a hypocrite.
    Romney whines about Arlen Specter but he voted for Paul Songas. What a hypocrite.
    Breaking News: Confederate Kook Ron Paul Working for Romney
    Ron Paul claims to like Ronald Reagan yet he has said “Ronald Reagan is a failure” and the “CIA deals drugs.” Not only are his racist newsletters everywhere but now it is out there that his mentors were Confederates who hated Abraham Lincoln for keeping the union together. Now Romney is connected to extremists.
    Profiting from the liquidation of businesses and rearranging the chairs at the Olympics does not qualify you to be president. He may pretend to be Mr. Main Street but we all know he is Mr Wall Street. Vote for Romney in any election? I don’t think so.
    Read more: http://www.azcentral.com/news/politics/articles/2012/02/24/20120224republican-primary-arizona-advance.html#24403153#ixzz1ndfUZxD7

  7. Santorum knows not only how to pass laws but he is the only candidate with rich experience in national security & foreign Affairs unlike the other candidates. Please read online the two articles he authored in 2004: The Iran Freedom & Support Act and the Syrian Accountability Act. In this volatile world we don’t need another novice in international affairs to be the Commander-in-Chief and the leader of the free world. The Establishment and mass media, pundits would like to have Romney nominated. The Republican party of IOWA reluctantly declared Santorum the winner. They used all delaying technique so that he may not get any credit or support using his momentum.BHO & DNC & the mass media are scared of Santorum because he is the one with less political baggage. By attacking Romney, they want to drive conservative voters from Santorum.
    Ed Piedra March 01, 2012 at 11:04PM wrote on Cleveland.com
    Romney’s ‘super PACs” group of BILLIONAIRES HIDDEN under anonymous names like Restore Our Future TWISTING the will pf the people with television commercialsagainst Santorum.
    At the end the male or female narrator intones disapprovingly: “Santorun even voted to raise his own pay” OR SIMMILAR derogatory ending.
    The VILE ‘super PACS” are NOT afraid to be SUED since The Federal Election Commission will levy only modest fines . In other words ‘super PACS” have LICENSE TO LIE AND DIFAME and DESTROY THE OPOSITION WITH IMPUNITY JUST BY AFFORDING TO PAY MILLIONS FOR AIR TIME. !!
    95 % of the voters are unaware of this fact. – Tell this to all the voters. Santorum does not have dishonest billionaires behind his campaign. But Santorun HAS We The People behind him !
    THEIR AIM IS to FOUL the honorable people that can be persuades the HORRIBLE ADS WITH MALIGNANT LIES “MUST BE TRUE” BECAUSE are ON TV OR RADIO,

    Shirley Freeman – Detroit Free Press. • Wrote:
    Rick Santorum respects us enough to tell us the real truth. Common sense tells us: It takes MORE than 1 vote to pass a law.
    Get real! Of course, politics is a team sport. Rick Santorum is an honest, courageous man ‘telling us like it is.’ Other candidates are afraid to talk about this ‘fact of life’ publicly. They prefer to ‘sweep it under the rug.’
    Rick Santorum has faith in the good sense and strength of the American people. He has enough faith in us to tell us the truth.
    Ron Paul is living proof that voting alone results in failed causes. He used his 1 vote against legislation again and again…and the laws he opposed continued to pass anyway.
    Rick Santorum gathered votes and developed alliances as Senate Floor Manager which resulted in passage of the Welfare Reform Act TWICE in the Senate, to overcome President Clinton’s veto. His leadership resulted in passage of the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban THREE times, vetoed twice by President Clinton and finally signed into law by President Bush. Santorum is a resolute, highly skilled, amazingly successful conservative leader.
    Yes, politics is a team sport! It takes a strong, conservative team to successfully pass strong conservative reforms. And that’s where the voters, community leaders and Tea Party advocates come in: It’s up to us to work for those votes to put a strong conservative team in Congress to support our next President, Rick Santorum!
    Santorum is the only candidate who has already successfully used those skills as a conservative team leader at the national level to pass milestone conservative reforms. He is the only conservative telling us the real facts on the campaign trail. He is the only candidate who will tell us the real facts as President.

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