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Obama in a jam? Salvation is in Ohio

President  Obamtours Chrysler Group's Toledo Supplier Park Toledo Ohio.

President Obama tours Chrysler Group's Toledo Supplier Park in Toledo, Ohio.

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Updated: July 19, 2012 6:08AM

Voters in Illinois, the bluest of blue states, have come down with a bad case of the 2012 presidential blues. Everywhere I go, I am button-holed with grim queries about President Barack Obama’s political travails. Staunch Obama-ites are fearful over his 2012 presidential prospects, right here in Chicago, headquarters of Obama’s re-election campaign.

The ask me on the bus, “Do you think he still has a chance?”

They sidle up to my dinner table with, “how is he going to pull this off?”

The bluest of the blues are full of gloom and doom. Last week, a longtime Democratic activist emailed me a link to a grim electoral vote map from Real Clear Politics. She wrote: “Looking for sandbox. Will bury head in it. Call me when it’s 2016.”

There are plenty of good reasons for the angst. Ugly headlines about the Democrats’ big defeat in the Wisconsin recall election. The May “employment” report revealing that the economy has stalled. Opponent Mitt Romney and his SuperPAC supporters outraising Obama by nearly $17 million last month. Then Obama gifted his opponent a gem of a flub when he declared that private industry was “doing just fine.” Republican stump speeches, ads and talking points have been ramming that one back down Obama’s throat ever since.

The bad news has set tongues a-wagging among the Washington prognosticators and pundits.

For the Democratic masses, here’s the scariest thing of all: Romney is standing tall. The same prognosticators now writing Obama’s political obituary once predicted that Romney would be fatally wounded by the bloody GOP primary fight. For months, Romney was the target of brutal throwdowns by his conservative competitors, from Santorum to Trump to Gingrich to Cain to Bachmann, et al.

Democrats hoped that battle royal would wound Romney so badly that Obama could just swoop in and finish off the carcass.

Didn’t happen. Meanwhile, our lame economy continues to limp along. The business climate in China and Europe make our economy’s resurgence very dicey.

Romney has wisely adopted the Clinton/Carville mantra, “It’s the economy, stupid.”

He will let Republican SuperPAC money rail against everything from Bill Ayers to Jeremiah Wright to how many avenging Democratic angels can fit on the head of a pin. Romney will remain above the muck.

What’s a despairing Democrat to do? Look to the auto bailout impact in Ohio.

Romney is on record declaring that as president, he would sell off the remaining government stake in General Motors to private investors.

That means jobs in Ohio. UAW workers know that if General Motors goes back to business as usual (outsourcing jobs) subcompact cars will not be built in the USA. That means they’ll be out of work. They won’t like that in Ohio. Obama should remind them, again and again.

Ohio is the G-spot on everyone’s electoral map.

The next president must win Ohio.

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