President Obama and Republican Mitt Romney are in the final week of their presidential campaigns and, folks, we’ve got ourselves one heck of a horse race. Many polls are simply too close to determine which candidate has the advantage and, regardless of which candidate you support, you can probably find a poll that says your guy is winning. This is an election that could very well be determined by who, including among sportsmen’s ranks, turns out to vote on Tuesday, November 6. According to many analysts, a strong voter turnout tends to favor President Obama; however, this race is too tight for any concrete predictions. Even after polls close, it could be a day or two before it’s all sorted out and any necessary recounts are taken.
There are likely to be many close battles among the swing states, none of which are more important than Ohio or Wisconsin. General thinking is that whomever wins Ohio’s Electoral College votes will move into the White House. So, what’s the latest? Based on the numbers from Rasmussen, Romney leads in Ohio for the first time (50% to 48%). At one time Obama held a strong lead in Ohio, and more recently the state was deadlocked. However, Romney’s apparent lead is very small–this race remains a toss up.
Based on the current numbers, Ohio appears to be far more essential to the Romney campaign’s election hopes. If Romney loses Ohio, he will not become president–unless he prevails in Wisconsin. In fact, according to a commentary piece by Scott Rasmussen, Florida was the decisive state in the 2000 election; Ohio was the all-important vote in 2004; and in 2012 it could be Wisconsin that’s in the spotlight. Rasmussen writes:
The simplest path without Ohio would be for Romney to win Wisconsin, Colorado and one other swing state. It’s plausible, but an uphill struggle. The latest Rasmussen Reports polling in Wisconsin shows the president up by 2 points. …
… On election night, the first places to watch will be Virginia and Florida [which Romney must win to stand a chance]. If Romney wins there, watch Ohio. If the president wins Ohio, Wisconsin is likely to be the decisive battleground state of Election 2012.
But at this time no analyst can say definitely how this race will play out. The numbers are just that tight, which means the contributions of individual voters are all the more essential. So, get out there and vote for sportsmen’s interests. This year, perhaps more than ever, your vote matters.