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Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Romney lost must-win Ohio in 2012. By wide margin, Ohio voters thought Obama would be better for the middle class and overall economy than Romney, thus undercutting entire premise of Romney candidacy which included scripted speeches with no message-CNN, 9/26/2012

Sept. 26, 2012 article: 

9/26/2012, "Why Romney is losing must-win Ohio," CNN, Peter Hamby 

"Polls show Mitt Romney trailing President Barack Obama in just about every one of the swing states where the 2012 campaign is being waged. 



So why exactly is Romney trailing?


Two surveys released in recent days, one from the Ohio Newspaper Association and another from The Washington Post, crystallized the challenge facing Romney as he embarks on his second straight day of campaigning in the Buckeye State.


The topline numbers-Obama led by 5 points among likely voters in the Ohio poll, and a startling 8 points in the Post poll -- only tell part of the story.


Romney's favorable rating is underwater. Almost two-thirds of voters approve of Obama's decision to bail out the auto industry, a staple of Ohio's manufacturing economy. The president leads Romney by a wide margin on the question of who would do more to help the middle class.




Interviews with some two dozen Republican strategists and elected officials across Ohio revealed an array of explanations--and no easy answers--for Romney's failure to catch on there.


Some pointed to the Obama campaign's aggressive effort to hang Romney's opposition to the federal bailout of Chrysler and General Motors around his neck. Others said a hangover remains from the divisive 2011 battle over collective bargaining rights that hurt the GOP's standing with working class voters.


A handful of GOP strategists blamed Romney's standing on campaign staffers who aren't Ohio natives.


One longtime Republican strategist griped about the "arrogant top-down" approach of the Romney team and said they have done a poor job listening to the advice of savvy Ohio strategists -- a charge rebuffed by Romney aides who point out that field staffers from the Ohio offices of Sen. Rob Portman and House Speaker John Boehner have come on board.


Still others cited Romney's lackluster political skills and said his stiff CEO demeanor as a turnoff for Ohioans, with one Republican officeholder saying that former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour wasn't far off when he said recently that Romney is being caricatured as "a plutocrat married to a known equestrian."


The main criticism that emerged, though, is that Romney is man without a message.


"We are still at a point where I think it's still a winnable race for Romney," said Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine. "Generally when you talk people, there is a feeling that Obama hasn't done that great a job. But Romney hasn't made the sale. He still can. But he hasn't made the sale yet."


Another statewide Republican officeholder who-like others interviewed for this article-did not want to be identified criticizing the Republican ticket, offered a blunter assessment....

"Why is Mitt Romney running for president and what will his presidency be about?" the official asked. "I don't think most Republicans in Ohio can answer that question. He has not made a compelling case for his candidacy. Don't make your campaign about marginal tax rates. Make it about your children and your grandchildren and the future of this country."


Romney is adjusting. The campaign, prevented from spending general election funds until after the Republican National Convention concluded in late August, launched its first statewide television buy of the campaign last week.


The former Massachusetts governor has also intensified his rhetoric on trade, long a potent issue in Ohio, accusing the president of failing to stand up to China and costing Americans jobs.


But Romney's argument du jour -- he has spent a week attacking the president's handling of foreign policy and the recent turmoil in the Middle East -- isn't likely to resonate in Ohio as much as a concise and aggressive jobs-themed message, Republicans said.


Several Ohio GOP operatives even credited the Obama campaign for presenting a more consistent economic argument.


Obama forces have persistently reminded voters about the auto bailout -- on television and in small-scale earned media events around the state -- and Republicans faulted Romney for failing to develop a succinct response to the criticism in a state where one out of every eight jobs is tied to the auto sector.


Romney wrote a New York Times op-ed in 2008 titled "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt" and argued for a managed bankruptcy for the industry, without the use of government funds. In May, he took credit for proposing the bankruptcy idea. In August, he tapped a running mate, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, who voted in favor of bailout.


Meanwhile, the Obama campaign has aired multiple TV ads on the issue and synced their pro-bailout message with down-ballot Democratic candidates such as Sen. Sherrod Brown.


Labor organizations are leaving thousands of bailout-themed doorknob hangers and making phone calls to union members highlighting Obama's support for the auto industry.


According to The Washington Post poll, 64% of Ohio registered voters view the federal loans to GM and Chrysler as "mostly good" for the state's economy. Only 29% said the bailout was "mostly bad." Putting a finer point on the matter, one longtime Ohio GOP strategist called Obama's advantage on the auto bailout "a kick in the balls" for the Romney campaign....


"Nobody will win Ohio by 5," said Mark Weaver, a Republican consultant with more than two decades of campaign experience in the state. "Anybody who tells you that doesn't know Ohio."...


Weaver complimented the Romney campaign effort and predicted a 2-point victory for Republicans in November but advised the GOP nominee to spend more time in the state and rely less on scripted remarks before large crowds.


"I think they need to get Romney here in Ohio more, and talking off the cuff more," he said. "I think he is a sincere guy, and I think the more he talks off the cuff, the more people will like him."


Another Ohio Republican strategist said Romney should begin dispatching his wife, Ann, to the suburbs of Cleveland and Columbus, where there is "room for improvement" -- a nice way of saying that Obama has a double-digit lead among women voters in Ohio, according to the Post poll."...
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Above, Nov. 2012 final Ohio results Romney v Obama, Real Clear Politics chart
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Links within above 2012 article:
Poll: Brown ahead of GOP challenger in Ohio Senate race

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Ed. note: Please excuse wide spaces between paragraphs. Google dislikes free speech. They're on tilt nowadays.





 
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