With less than two weeks to go before Election Day, both President Obama and Mitt Romney are going hard campaigning through key battleground states. CNN has narrowed them down to eight. Obama, who has been on a campaign blitz, making appearances in eight cities, is stopping in Chicago today to become the first president to cast his ballot early. CNN Political Contributor Margaret Hoover and Former Senior Clinton Adviser Richard Socarides come to “Early Start” with their take on the candidates’ final push before November 6.
It’s no doubt Ohio is a crucial state for either candidate to win. “The race is becoming about Ohio and a couple other swing states,” Socarides says, “and I think the president has got a much clearer path to victory.” Romney has an edge in the swing state of North Carolina, meanwhile, which Obama narrowly won in 2008. “North Carolina is a must-win for Mitt Romney, the president could afford to lose it,” Hoover says. “Ohio is a must-win for both of them.”
Obama, who holds a lead in Ohio within the margin of error, has been stressing early votes in the final push before November 6. Hoover considers the significance of this on Ohio. “Voter registration is down about 350,000 votes in the three biggest Democratic counties in Ohio,” which is why Hoover says, “they want to bank up all these early votes to be able to act as a firewall on Election Day.”
Socarides says the president’s strategy is “leaving nothing to chance.” “We’ve seen in past elections, especially when they’re close, that organization, organization, organization early, makes all the difference,” Socarides says. “And if you can get out your voters, you can win close elections.”