Ohio Sen. Rob Portman (R), who’s been posing as President Obama in Mitt Romney’s debate prep, said yesterday on ABC’s This Week that the GOP candidate “can probably win the presidency without Ohio, but I wouldn’t want to take the risk.”
“No Republican has,” the senator noted, adding that he’s been to a half-dozen rallies in his home state in the past week and has “never seen this kind of energy and enthusiasm on the ground.”
“We’ve already made three times more phone calls through our volunteers this year than 2008. We’ve knocked on 25 times more doors than we did in all of 2008. So something’s going on, on the ground in Ohio. It’s turning our way,” he said.
Portman’s name on was on most VP shortlists; he has a 35 percent approval rating in Ohio, 25 percent unfavorable, with 40 percent of voters having no opinion about him.
His Democratic counterpart, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), is running for re-election against state treasurer Josh Mandel (R). Brown is up by 5 points in the latest Real Clear Politics polling average.
Portman predicted Obama will “come out swinging” in tomorrow night’s townhall-style debate.
“I think he’s going to have to compensate for a poor first debate, and I think that’ll be consistent with what they’ve been doing this whole campaign, which is running a highly negative ad campaign,” the senator said. “They’ve spent hundreds of millions of dollars around the country, including a lot in Ohio, mischaracterizing Governor Romney’s positions and misrepresenting him. And I think you’ll see that again at the debate on Tuesday night.”