Stacy McCain and Ali Akbar: “Ohio is Mitt’s to Win”

Our intrepid campaign chasers are still at ground zero for this election, taking in in rallies, phone banks, volunteer meetings, and local news and perspective that you simply can’t get from the national media. Stacy’s been observing details, and Ali’s been crunching numbers, to some up with interesting observations:

Stacy McCain and Ali Akbar on location in Ohio

In the Information Age, everybody can see the polls, and this has been the most extensively polled presidential race in American history. Yet we arrive at Election Day with the outcome still very much in doubt, thanks to the cleverness of the Romney campaign. It was brilliant how, in the past 10 days, Mitt’s team seized the initiative and “expanded the map,” making plays in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire. With the polls showing Ohio, Florida, Virginia, Iowa and Colorado all within the margin of error, Romney made a bold gamble that clearly confused Obama’s brain trust: Was Mitt really so confident of carrying the key swing states that he felt he had the luxury of pushing for a mandate or, alternatively, was Mitt so worried about the Ohio polls that he was seeking an alternate route to 270 Electoral College votes?

Two of many reasons why Mitt is doing better than polled - AFP volunteers phone-banking in Ohio. (Photo TheOtherMcCain)
At this point, it’s moot. The upshot is that Romney’s gamble threw the Chicago gang off-stride, forcing them to send Obama and his top surrogates to play defense in states that had been thought safely “blue,” preventing the Democrats from piling everything they had into Ohio. Granted, Romney has had to make visits to defend Florida and Virginia — both of which should be safely in his column on Election Night — but somewhere in the third week of October, looking at the Big Picture, Mitt decided to go big or go home, and this is perhaps the only reason that he’s still in the game on this final Monday.

If he had played it safe, Romney would have lost. As it is, he’s got a chance to win…..

Click to keep the real journalists going.
Here are some of the recent posts from their trip:

Read about their prior adventures in: This Is What Real Journalism Looks Like – Tales From The Campaign Trail
Finally, don’t forget to vote – this is a swing state, too!