Every four years, the media descends on the swing state of Ohio, traveling from Cincinnati to Columbus to Cleveland to speak with swing state voters for their opinion on the presidential race. This year is no different — as election day 2012 approaches, all eyes are on Ohio — and not only in the United States. The Obama-Romney race is making headlines across the world, from Mexico to Russia, from India to Great Britain. The BBC sent World Update host Dan Damon to Ohio this week for an in-depth look at the Midwestern perspective on President Obama and Mitt Romney.
Damon spoke with Governor John Kasich, Republican representative from the state, who attempted to do some damage control for Mitt Romney's comments last week about the "47 percent," the fallout from which is affecting more than just the presidential race.
"It is a different environment with a 24/7 news cycle, with Twitter, with Facebook, with Youtube," says Governor Kasich. "You know, we gotta get over some of this, or we're going to just paralyze peoples' ability to say anything."
It is understandable that a Kasich would want to stand up for one of his own in these crucial last weeks before the election, particularly since Ohioans are also in the midst of a contentious Senate race.
Over the past few months, Senator Sherrod Brown, the Ohio Democrat running for re-election, has been neck-and-neck in the polls with Republican challenger, state treasurer Josh Mandel. But new polls show Brown with a seven to eight point advantage over Mandel. Takeaway Washington correspondent Todd Zwillich has been following the shift in Ohio's Senate race, and looks at the races in Wisconsin and Missouri, where Democrats have also, unexpectedly, taken the lead. While Republicans seem to have given up on Missouri, outside money is pouring into close Senate races in Montana and North Dakota.
"The blue wave has been spreading across these races that Senate Republicans really thought they were going to be able to pick off from Democrats," says Todd Zwillich.
Though Republican strategists have given up on trying to get Todd Akin out of the race, they fear that they may lose their bid to take over the Senate as a result.
"These opportunities for pick ups are getting thinner and thinner for Republicans. Add on to that a couple of states where Republicans are defending, where it looks like they could lose." Zwillich named Massachusetts and Maine. If Republicans lose those two seats, the odds of them taking over the Senate become all the more slim. Thus, the Republicans are retreating and going all in on races that are surer bets.