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The Romney campaign enters this weekend in a bind.
This race has boiled down to Ohio. The problem for Romney is that the Obama campaign has built a firewall there. Between advertising, organizing and events the president’s campaign has built a strong foundation.
But in the end it was Obama’s politically risky decision to bail out the auto industry and Mitt Romney’s criticism of the decision that define the race in Ohio because so many jobs have returned to the state.
Ohio’s economy, like most other swing states, is doing better than the national average. For Ohioans, they know that the auto bailout is a driving force behind the growing economy.
The other factor that boosts Obama in Ohio, as well as Wisconsin, is the attempt by Republicans to strip working class union members of their right to bargain collectively.
These factors have created a lower ceiling for the Romney/Ryan campaign in two critical states in the Electoral College.
One need look no farther than Obama’s strength with white working class voters nationally versus Ohio to see that the auto bailout and the successful effort to overturn the Republican legislators and governor’s assault on unions.
So Romney has little room to maneuver. Nevada and Iowa seem squarely in the Obama column as well. It looks like New Hampshire is out of reach for Romney, too.
The Romney campaign knows that time is running out and they have to resort to desperate measures.
One piece of evidence we have that the Romney campaign is trying to manufacture a momentum storyline. They claimed that they were expanding the map to include Michigan, Minnesota and Pennsylvania. But that was clearly spin, as none of those states are on Romney’s travel itinerary in the closing week save a last minute addition of a stop in Pennsylvania.
McCain tried to make up the momentum story four years ago, including a late stop in the Keystone State. McCain lost the state by double digits.
Spoiler Alert: The Romney campaign cannot and will not win any of those three states.
Another piece of evidence we have that the Romney campaign is in desperation mode is that they did not stop the campaigning during Hurricane Sandy and the tone of the campaign was the same before and after the disaster.
But the most damning piece of evidence we have that Mitt Romney is searching for some sort of magic bullet to save his campaign from inevitable defeat is that Romney has gotten into a fight with his vaunted job creators.
The Romney campaign has invented a story, first told during a speech then turned into a campaign ad, that Jeep is closing production in the U.S. and offshoring production to China – a favorite tactic of Romney at Bain by the way.
Jeep and Chrysler have attacked the campaign endlessly for making this story up.
That’s right, the son of an auto CEO has picked another fight with the auto industry a week before the election. Maybe it is some sort of deep seeded issue Romney has with his father that causes him to lash out in this way.
Whatever the reason, Romney’s effort is failing.
No one is buying this lie other than people that live in the alternate reality of right wing media.
As the campaign draws to a close it has become very apparent that Obama will return to the White House and that Harry Reid will lead a Democratic Senate.
One of the biggest open questions is the Republican House. Will voters really turn out and send the president and a Democratic Senate to Washington and return a Republican majority in the House of Representatives or will Democrats pick-off enough seats to kick out the one body of government that preferred we head to a fiscal cliff rather than cutting a four billion dollar deficit reduction plan?
About Bill Buck
Bill Buck is a Democratic strategist, President of the Buck Communications Group, a media relations and new media strategies consulting business based in Washington, DC, and Managing Director of the online ad firm Influence DSP. He has over twenty years of international and national communications experience. The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of CBS Local.