Although many things are possible, Ohio remains the most likely state to determine the winner of the 2012 presidential election. Nate Silver lists it as by far the most likely tipping point state: the state that pushes the winner to the 270 electoral votes needed for victory. Mitt Romney, in particular, has almost no way to get to 270 without Ohio.
The Bain ads are everywhere on Ohio TV and today another new Ohio poll shows they are working. More on Ohio and that new poll below.
Ohio is THE battleground. You remember this ad featuring an Indiana (next to Ohio!) man The Troubadour told us about Tuesday?:
And of course this ad?:
These ads and others have been airing over and over in Ohio. The Obama campaign has spent over $100 million so far and more than 20 percent of that total, the most of any state, has been spent in Ohio. Again, win Ohio, you win the election. The President launched his 2012 campaign in Ohio. Before that he visited Ohio 20 times during his presidency. Since then he's been back regularly.
Did I mention that Ohio is important?
The ad money seems to be working. You can follow the flow of money being spent by each campaign here. It shows the Obama campaign spending about $4-to-5 million a week during May and most of June and then jumping to $9 million that last week of June. Spending may have dipped over the 4th of July week and the most recent week is not up yet.
But the late June splurge (met by Romney and his PACs by the way) appears to have worked. Today, Rasmussen (which you know leans at least a couple points to the right) released an Ohio poll showing Obama up by 2. Their last Ohio poll, from the end of May, showed Romney plus two, a four-point swing. Here are the 4 most recent Ohio polls since Bain ads increased there:
Rasmussen (today): Obama +2
Purple Strat (7/13): Obama +3
Quinnipiac (6/25): Obama +9
PPP (ending 6/24): Obama +3
That's an average of Obama +4.25. Here are the previous 4 from May and early June (before the biggest spending):
Purple Strat (6/5) Romney +3
Rasmussen (5/29) Romney +2
NBC News (5/20) Obama +6
Quinnipiac (5/7) Obama +1
That's an average of Obama + 0.5.
I think this is more evidence the ad strategy is working. And I think Ohio is going to be a very tough sell for Mitt. Remember the end of the 2008 campaign when the entire McCain team moved to Pennsylvania? (good times!). Romney won't have that option, he's even further behind there (polling average of +8 Obama). But maybe there'll be a day when team Romney moves the entire campaign to Ohio.
It also makes me think this guy may be Mitt's VP.