A Man Without a Message

Let’s be blunt here. How in the world is Mitt Romney losing this race? With the economic conditions of this country, it truly seems like Mitt should be hitting this one out of the park. Unemployment rates are still over 8 percent, household income is continuing to decrease rapidly, there is a political base that is united strongly in their distaste for Obama and his policies, and the country as a whole seems ready for major change. There should be absolutely no question about who should be taking the lead in this race, however Obama still seems to pull through. How? Is Mitt Romney not connecting well with the middle class? Are Mitt Romney’s campaign managers to blame? Maybe should Mitt Romney be focusing more on the economy rather than foreign policy? Maybe Obama and his campaign managers are just straight up doing a better job? In the article “Why Romney is losing must-win Ohio”, Peter Hamby delves into some reasons as to why Mitt is stumbling so much in this vital swing state.



         If Mitt Romney wants to win this election he really needs the votes of the mostly middle class people of Ohio. How is he doing? According to Peter Hamby, Mitt Romney is trailing far behind Obama in Ohio. This is devastating for his campaign and Mitt Romney and his team knows it. Why though is Mitt Romney doing so poorly in Ohio? One reason is that the people of Ohio, who are largely from the middle class, truly believe that Obama will help the middle class more than Romney will. Recently I read a very interesting poll from Esquire that showed how the majority of the country feels about Mitt Romney, the middle class, and that also showed how much the country felt like they had in common with each candidate.




Obviously Obama connects more with the middle class, but does that really explain why Romney is doing so poorly in Ohio? Peter Hamby describes in his article that one main reason why Romney is doing so poorly in Ohio is that Romney is a man without a message. Although Romney continues to make jabs about Obama’s foreign policy and the recent turmoil in the Middle East, this is not resonating with the people of Ohio. They truly don’t know who Romney is and what his candidacy is about. I believe that is Romney wants to win in Ohio he needs to stop switching around his attack points and he needs to stick with his strength: the economy. If Romney lays out a solid message about how he will improve the economy and decrease the unemployment rate I believe that he will have a good chance of winning Ohio. Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine stated, “Generally when you talk people, there is a feeling that Obama hasn’t done that great a job. But Romney hasn’t made the sale. He still can. But he hasn’t made the sale yet”. Romney hasn’t sent a clear straightforward message about his candidacy to the people in Ohio, which is one reason why he is not thriving. I truly believe that if he sent a more straightforward and aggressive message about the economy that he would be winning by a landslide.

So Mitt Romney is a man without a clear message, does this completely explain why he is not winning in Ohio? Not quite. Another reason why Mitt Romney is lagging behind in Ohio is because almost two-thirds of voters approve of Obama’s decision to bail out the auto industry, which is a major part of the economy in Ohio. Obama has been doing a fantastic job reminding the voters of Ohio of his support of the auto bailout through his Television ads and small-scale media events around the state. Romney wrote a New York Times article in 2008 that argued in favor of managed bankruptcy for the auto-industry without the use of government funds. Republicans are now criticizing Romney for not having a better response to the people of Ohio who are angry that he would have let the auto-industry go bankrupt when one in eight people of Ohio work in the auto-industry. Labor organizations have left thousands of bailout-themed doorknob hangers in support of Obama. The article states “64% of Ohio registered voters view the federal loans to GM and Chrysler as “mostly good” for the state’s economy. Only 29% said the bailout was “mostly bad””. It is obvious that Obama has a slight advantage already in Ohio and so Romney really needs to step it up in order to win this important state.


If Romney sends a clear message about the economy and defends himself regarding the auto-bailout will he have Ohio in the bag? There is unfortunately for him, one more obstacle he will have to face. This obstacle’s name is John Kasich. If Romney wants to win he needs to run with the message that Obama’s policies have kept the economy from bouncing back, however Kasich relentlessly boasts about Ohio’s job growth. It is hard for Romney to talk about how the entire country is failing economically when the people of Ohio are under the impression that Ohio is doing great economically. The article states that “At a recent campaign event in conservative Owensville, a fiery Kasich boasted that “Ohio is rocking!” — moments before turning the microphone over to Paul Ryan, who proceeded to issue dire warnings about Obama’s economic policies”. Can you see how this is detrimental to Romney’s campaign in Ohio? 


Many people are very confused as to why Romney is trailing behind Obama because he has such an advantage. Does Romney have a true advantage though? I believe that in the country as a whole Romney has an advantage, but he certainly does not have an advantage in Ohio. If people are wondering why he is not leading the pack in Ohio, they need to look no farther than the abundance of middle class citizens in Ohio, Romney’s position on the auto-bailout, Governor John Kasich, and Ohio’s perceived economic growth. Romney started his campaign in Ohio at a clear disadvantage and only time will tell if he can fight his way back to the top.

 — Amy Rowland 


About rowlanda12

This is a blog about the 2012 presidential election. Content is generated by students in Professor Heldman's Politics 101 class. She does not necessarily endorse the views expressed here.
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