Trans Day of Vengeance Has Been Cancelled
Q'Anon Shaman Has Been Released From Prison After Tucker Carlson Released the J6...
Learn the Lesson From Minnesota: Price Controls Don’t Work
Trump's Campaign Shares Plans For His Arraignment: He Will Be 'Back At It'...
One Year Later – the Murder of a Christian Arab Israeli Hero
Our Message To The Left: Here I Stand
So, What Are YOU Prepared To Do?
If We Want to Win the 21st Century Arms Race, We Can’t Afford...
Biden Nominees Undermining Confidence in the Courts
Million Dollar Pro-Trump Super PAC Attacks DeSantis Over Social Security and Medicare
Arizona Democrats Take Legal Action to Protect Biden's Re-Election
What Does Donald Trump's Indictment Mean for the 2024 Primary and Beyond?
Saudi Arabia Joins Forces With China: Why the U.S. Should Be Worried
John Fetterman Released From Hospital After Suffering From Severe Depression
MTG Calls For Protests In NYC Tuesday Ahead of Trump Arraignment

Campaign 2012: A Tale of Two Counties

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

The first warning flags that Mitt Romney may not be the strong general election candidate the Republican Party establishment sold him as were spotted on March 6th, otherwise known as Super Tuesday.

Though numerous states held contests that day, it was Ohio that was considered the big prize. Rick Santorum had almost defeated Romney in Michigan, one of his home states (it was so close they essentially split the delegates). With Santorum surging in Oklahoma and Tennessee, Newt Gingrich poised to win his home state of Georgia, and Virginia written off after most Republican candidates failed to qualify for the ballot, all eyes were on the Buckeye state.

Especially since no Republican has ever won the White House without winning Ohio.

With an army of nationally-known conservative leaders lining up behind him, and several conservative southern states still to come on the primary calendar, Ohio was Santorum’s shot to upset the party establishment’s best laid plans if he could win the crucial battleground state.

And he almost did.

Despite being out-spent in the state 10-to-1, Santorum lost Ohio by just 10,288 votes in a primary with more than 1.2 million voters. Why was that election so close, and how was Romney able to win?

The state of Ohio has 88 counties, but Romney only won 19 of them on primary night. Romney won the Ohio primary although he won just 22% of the counties in the state. It’s where Romney won that tells the tale.

Romney won Cuyahoga County by 16,029 votes. Romney won Hamilton County by 15,653 votes. In other words, Romney’s margin of victory in those two counties was over 50% higher than his overall margin for victory in the whole state. If you were to remove those two counties from the total tally, Santorum would’ve won Ohio by over 21,000 votes—or twice what Romney actually won the state by. And had Santorum won Ohio, Romney might not be the nominee today.

While Romney’s Campaign is fortunate the vote in Cuyahoga and Hamilton Counties was counted on Super Tuesday, come November 6th they’ll likely have a different opinion. That’s because in 2008 President Obama received 650,638 votes in those two counties alone, which accounted for one-fourth of the total vote he received in beating John McCain for Ohio’s 20 vital Electoral College votes. Furthermore, all but 5 of the 18 counties won by Romney in the 2012 Ohio primary were won by Obama in the 2012 presidential election.

Now you know why polls show Romney’s chances of winning Ohio are fading. But this isn’t just true of Ohio. How about the aforementioned Michigan primary? Romney won Michigan by 32,378 votes over Santorum with about 975,000 total votes cast. Romney’s win was largely attributable to a 31,565 vote margin in one county—Oakland County. In the 2008 presidential election, Obama won Oakland County by 15 points! Romney’s second-biggest margin for victory in Michigan came in Wayne County, where Obama received 74% of the vote in the 2008 presidential election.

Translation: Romney won arguably the two most crucial Republican primaries (and thus the nomination) by winning where Democrats win. Not swing counties, but Democrat counties. For Romney to win the presidency without winning Ohio he’ll have to win Florida, Virginia, Wisconsin, Nevada, Colorado, and Iowa (or he can lose Wisconsin, Colorado or Iowa if he wins New Hampshire).

A Republican hasn’t done that since Ronald Reagan’s historic landslide in 1984.

Join the conversation as a VIP Member


Trending on Townhall Video