Yes Virginia—Ohio Is The State That Will Break Mitt Romney

RCP poll average for today in Ohio, shows President Obama nudging away from Mitt Romney, who has failed to make the case to Ohio voters so far, and is rapidly running out of time to do so. Unless something dire happens to change the nature of these Ohio numbers, Obama wins the Buckeye State, and his second term as President.
Even as Barack Obama seems to have thrown away yet another key state to Mitt Romney—this time Virginia—the polls, with eleven days to go till the presidential election, suggest Romney's hopes may fail in the state pundits always said would be crucial: Ohio.

While Romney has seen his poll number make a big, positive change, since October 3rd, when the GOP candidate took a win over President Obama in the first presidential debate, the surge has never translated in a great deal of swing-state power for Romney.

Even yesterday, as Romney pulled away from Obama in Virginia, that was seemingly not anything that Romney did at all, but was attributable to an unwisely snarky putdown of Romney by the President in the third debate, which made Obama seem insensitive to job concerns of Virginia's shipyard workers.

In Ohio, on the other hand, Romney's own blisteringly stupid words—Let Detroit Go Bankrupt—have rippled out from Michigan to turn auto workers in Ohio against Romney. The GOP candidate's recognition that his New York Times article on November 18, 2008, and particularly its headline, were now dooming his chances in Ohio, where he desperately needs to win, caused him to try once again in the foreign policy debate to rewrite history.

Romney claimed, and not for the first time, that his own remedy for saving the US automobile industry, what he called a managed bankruptcy, was exactly the same course successfully used by the Bush and Obama administrations. Romney accused Obama of also letting Detroit go bankrupt.

But the crucial difference between what Romney recommended, and what President Obama actually did, was that Obama, following President Bush's lead, injected government money into US automobile companies to insure they were able to keep workers employed and actually were able to keep in business instead of liquidating during bankruptcy.

Romney's statement in his infamous article about this method, was to reject it outright:
"If General Motors, Ford and Chrysler get the bailout that their chief executives asked for yesterday, you can kiss the American automotive industry goodbye. It won’t go overnight, but its demise will be virtually guaranteed."
Romney was just dead wrong. Detroit got the bailout—and it went on to survive and succeed—with General Motors recapturing the title of the largest carmaker in the world. More than this, thousands of workers kept their jobs, instead of being laid off in some kind of Bain-style carve-up.

The auto workers, and union members, in Ohio (and elsewhere), know the score on this story, and nothing Romney has tried has succeeded in erasing Obama's lead in the Buckeye state.

And why is that lead particularly important?

The numbers 281-257 may be key on election night, as those may describe the margin of President Obama's electoral vote victory over Mitt Romney. That margin is obtained by allocating electoral votes according to current polling trends. With so little time remaining, there is little room for much change in these numbers, and most of it actually favors Obama, not Romney. In Ohio, Romney has struck out trying to obtain the all-important third key state. RCP poll average. Note new information below.
Because, if everything keeps trending as it is today, Romney will lose. And there aren't that many days to go. Ohio is the last of the three "key" states Romney needed to show some progress in. The others, Florida and Virginia, now seem to be trending reliably for Romney.

But in Ohio, it's the other way. Obama is nudging away from Romney, just as Mitt needs for the very opposite to be happening. And while Romney could of course see a game-winning shift in some other state, such as Michigan for example, the numbers just aren't there for him. Once again, of course, Michigan, the home state of Romney's dad, where George Romney was governor, recalls what Mitt Romney said about Detroit.

In the end, the 281-257 electoral vote breakdown, with all states going as currently trending,* which gives President Obama his victory, seems like the one we're going to see election night. When they tally up the MidWest—Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, and especially Ohio—if they've all gone blue, which it now seems they will—Mitt Romney's night and his campaign will be over.

*—UPDATE: Today RCP refigured the trending states ("no toss-up states") map, now including Colorado FOR Obama. The race is still very tight there, essentially a tie, and we have not changed the earlier numbers which gave Colorado to Romney, because of this, but if Colorado indeed goes for Obama on November 6th, it won't even matter if Romney wins Ohio. He'll still lose the election to the President.