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These Ohio Voters Are 100x More Important Than You in the 2012 Presidential Election:

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In the 2012 Election, many analysts believe that the race is so close, that it will all hinge on the great Buckeye State of Ohio.

People all over the country are tracking polls and giving their own opinions, but maybe it's only the opinions of Buckeyes that will even matter in this race?

Truth of the matter is that while all citizens get one vote, Ohio voters -- who make up just around 3% of the U.S. population -- are much more important that you are in determining the outcome of the 2012 Presidential Election.

Ohio voters

Source of the census stats in this post:

Back in 2004, John Kerry narrowly lost to George Bush. That election was very close, and Bush was able to carry Ohio.

Here's the county map of Ohio, and you can see how red it is:

Ohio 2004 President Election

The mistake by the lake doesn't' apply to just cleveland, apparently ... ;)

well Cleveland is Blue stronghold...the redone districts are making it worse for Ohio democrats, too.

Women make up over 51% of Ohio's population, and these women can literally decide the next American president.

Ohio women voters

Ohio is a predominantly Caucasian state -- much higher than the national average.

White people make up almost 84% of Ohio's population.

Ohio Caucasian vote

Roughly 4% of U.S. veterans over the past five years reside in Ohio, a considerable voting bloc and one that will surely ask both candidates about what they promise to do for the 22m+ veterans nationwide who have served the U.S. bravely.

Ohio veterans vote

While each state, on average, has about 12% immigrants, Ohio has about a quarter of that, much less, so it's likely immigration issues won't be as important in Ohio, and that seems to be consistent with what we're seeing with the campaigns so far.

Ohio Immigrants Vote

It always bugged me that political data is meant to clump people into groups in some de-humanizing way and enforce group-think voting behaviors.

I think that's one of the major things that turns me off about modern day politics.

To me, I figure out who is ahead by this:

It shows Romney with 206. He needs to win FL, VA, OH and 4 more electoral votes (like NH) to get to 270.

So there you go, it's not just OH. Also, you could win NH, WI, and IA and still have the same outcome, so maybe OH is only 50x as important, not 100x.

The key won't be who people say they'll be voting for.

The key will be voter turnout.

Florida is now likely to vote Romney, as are Virginia and North Carolina.

Net-net is Whoever gets the most turnout in Ohio will likely win.

Btw you're right that Ohio has only a 33% chance of being the determinant, and here's why he's leading there by a thin margin: "The auto industry’s recovery has helped drop Ohio’s unemployment rate from 8.6 percent when he took office to 7.2 percent now, making it one state where voters really are better off than they were four years ago."

I think Romney will win Florida and Virginia. That means Ohio is the bellwether. And, while it may seem unfair, I think unemployment and jobs is the #1 issue in that state, so down to the wire, the debates/issues would hopefully focus on that, which I do believe is the #1 issue.

I think all I was saying was there are two plausible paths to the 270, one doesn't include Ohio.

Speaking of which, this election in California is going to be the bellwether. If certain propositions pass, then they are going down the higher taxes route as the only way to pay for more debt. If they don't pass, then they are looking at Wisconsin style public employee reforms for lobbying and more contributions to benefit plans.

Greg, there are two ways for Obama to win if Florida is still winnable.

Most of what I'm reading says Obama is very unlikely to win Florida.

Which means it's increasingly likely that Ohio determines the election.

That's a good point about California, and right now it's not looking good for the "raise taxes" side.

Ohio may determine the election for Obama, but not for Romney.

Again, I point to Mr. Nate Silver and 538 for the best analysis. Nate talked about how Florida is out on Friday.

"Based on the FiveThirtyEight tipping-point index, Florida is now only the ninth-most-important state in the Electoral College math. There is only about a 2 percent chance that the decisive Electoral College vote will be cast in that state on Nov. 6.

This represents a significant decline: Florida had ranked as high as second on the tipping-point list at earlier stages of the race.

Why is the forecast model so willing to dismiss Florida? It reflects a combination of Mr. Obama’s recent weakness in the polls there — and his comparative strength elsewhere.

Mr. Obama remains the overall favorite in the FiveThirtyEight forecast because he leads by at least 1.8 percentage points in states with enough electoral votes for him to carry 277. The closest of these are Wisconsin, Ohio, Nevada and Iowa.

Mr. Obama could afford to lose either Nevada or Iowa from his column, which would still leave him with 271 electoral votes — just enough to win.

He could not afford to lose both Iowa and Nevada without adding other states to replace them. Nor could he afford to lose Wisconsin or Ohio. It’s still too soon — and there is still too much intrinsic uncertainty in the polling — to reduce the election down to these four states only.

Mr. Obama’s next-best state is New Hampshire, where the forecast shows him with a tiny although much diminished advantage. Because New Hampshire has only four electoral votes, however, it comes into play only under relatively specific conditions."

You both make valid points, and I believe we all agree:

If Obama cannot win Ohio, he will lose the election.

And now for the kicker:

The Romney family owns controlling interest in the Hart voting machine company, used in Ohio elections.

Winning Ohio is not going to be easy.

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