Auto bailout helping Obama in Ohio

There’s no way Mitt Romney can win the presidential election without winning Ohio, and the auto bailout is making it very difficult for him in Ohio.

Democratic strategists and independent political observers credit Obama’s advantage to his support for the auto bailout and strategy of appealing to blue-collar workers. They also note that Ohio’s 7.2 percent unemployment rate is a full percentage point lower than the national average.

“Romney is going to have to do something very unusual to take Ohio away from the president,” said Jim Friedman, a Cleveland lawyer whose involvement with the state’s Democratic Party has spanned several decades.

Obama “is not doing great in Ohio, but he’s doing well enough,” said Peter Brown, the assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, who helped conduct the latest poll. “Obviously these numbers are good for him, and if the president wins this state, he’s going to get reelected.”

The auto bailout is perhaps Obama’s trump card in Ohio.

Friedman argued Obama’s support and Romney’s opposition to the bailout are resonating in Ohio, where the car industry “is both historically and psychologically important.”

Romney is trying to fight back, as he just launched a new ad showing a dealer who lost his dealership as a result of the bailout. But this is pure desperation, as that dealership would have gone under with Romney as president as well, since Romney opposed the auto bailout or any help for the industry in the middle of the financial crisis.

Poll shows slight lead for President Obama in Ohio over Mitt Romney


Ohio will be a battleground again in 2012 for the presidential election, and right now President Obama is hanging tough against likely opponent Mitt Romney.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney overtook former House Speaker Newt Gingrich in a new Buckeye State poll released Wednesday by the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

The eight-day survey, which ended Monday, shows that 27 percent of Republicans here favor Romney. Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, who finished eight votes behind Romney in this month’s Iowa caucuses, received 18 percent; Gingrich received 17 percent.

Romney today would be the strongest candidate in a head-to-head showdown with President Barack Obama. The poll found that 44 percent of Ohio voters would vote for Obama, 42 percent for Romney — a virtual tie given the poll’s 2.4 percent margin of error.

The hypothetical match was a percentage point tighter in last month’s poll.

Romney was in favor of Issue 2, so I suspect that the Obama campaign will hammer him on that. If they do this in the spring and early summer, Romney might not be able to recover in Ohio, and there’s no way Romney can win the election without Ohio.

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