Staff, volunteers confident of Romney victory in Ohio
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Romney campaign has claimed the momentum in Ohio for the last few weeks. Now, the campaign, including its volunteers, believe Romney will take Ohio on election day.
With 7 percent unemployment in Ohio, down nearly 3 percentage points since Gov. John Kasich was sworn in, Ohio’s economy is turning around. President Obama tries to claim responsibility by shouting “bailout,” but Gov. Kasich disputed this Sunday on “Meet the Press”. Kasich told David Gregory, “Of the 112,000 jobs that were created … according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, we are up a total of 400 auto jobs.” He explained that we are grateful, of course, for these jobs, but, “It doesn’t account for the growth of 112,000 jobs in our state.” Ohio is number one in the midwest in job creation, and number four in the entire country.
According to today’s Rasmussen Poll, it seems that Kasich may be correct and Mitt Romney’s message is resonating in the state. Ohioans now support Romney over Obama by 50 to 48 percent. While Obama’s campaign claims to have a lead with early voters, Human Events has explained in this Oct. 16 story that Romney’s campaign believes Obama is merely cannibalizing his election day votes. Republican turnout for Romney on election day could be the deciding factor for Ohio’s 18 electoral votes.
Karl Rove agrees, explaining on “Fox News Sunday”: “If you look at Ohio, for example, 57 percent of the absentee ballot requests come from Democrats who had voted in none, one or two of the last three elections, 72 percent of the Republican absentee ballot applications come from people who didn’t vote — voted in none, one or two of the last elections. That is to say the Democrats are cannibalizing their Election Day turnout, the Republicans are the ones who are getting the new voters out.”
Gov. Kasich, who has in the past stopped short of outright promising a Romney victory in the state, said on “Meet the Press”, “I think Romney is going to carry Ohio. You know, I haven’t been saying this, but I now think it’s going to happen.”
Scott Jennings, the Ohio State Director for Romney for President, issued a memo Monday morning outlining the campaign’s reasoning for the Romney lead: “The daydream Chicago was having a few weeks ago about Ohio coming off the board has been replaced by their nightmare of Romney momentum fueled by our ticket’s performance, our goal-shattering ground game, and an unmistakable feeling among independent voters that Barack Obama has no plan for the next four years.”
Romney’s ground game statistics from the last few weeks include:
- 669,534 doors knocked in the last two weeks — the general election total is 2,132,690 doors;
- massive crowds at Romney’s rallies;
- polls showing that Romney leads with independents by 18 points in Ohio, and leads on handling the economy by 6 points; and
- newspaper endorsements from The Cincinnati Enquirer, The Lima News, The Findlay Courier and The Columbus Dispatch.
The Romney campaign is also finding that Republicans are turning out “at substantially higher rates than during the 2008” election, according to Jennings’ memo. He closes with this: “Our opponents continue to run a negative, divisive campaign that has completely undermined Obama’s ’08 brand (especially among young voters) and left independent voters to conclude that Obama has no plan for the future. Most people are looking for a ticket that has a plan to solve problems and restore America’s greatness. In 2012, there’s no doubt that’s Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan.”
A political campaign generally tends to hype its candidate, making the perspective from volunteers on the ground perhaps the most important element in gauging momentum. Sharyn Sytsma is one of the most active volunteers at the Westerville/Northern Columbus Romney Victory Center, according to the center’s director. Sytsma explained, “I started making phone calls in June, and started door knocking shortly thereafter. One of the big things I’ve noticed since then … without a doubt, more and more of the independents have been breaking Romney’s way most recently.” Over the summer, she saw many undecided voters, so the shift is encouraging to her. She is also excited about the amount of enthusiasm she sees as she goes door to door. “As a matter of fact,” she continued, “I always carry with me a little piece of paper that I give out that has the name, address and phone number for the local Victory Center. When I talk to people who are really enthusiastic … I give them that piece of paper, and a number of those people have come and volunteered.”
Sytsma confirmed the reports from the Romney campaign that Ohio is on the rise for Romney. She said, “There is a decisiveness that we have to get this done, that we are going to get this done.”