VodkaPundit

The Part of Ohio Will be Played Tonight by its Understudy, Wisconsin

Tom Dougherty took a look at yesterday’s Wargaming and writes:

If we give Obama the state of Nevada, which I’m not inclined to do easily but will for this argument’s sake, we’re left with a 267-261 map and Wisconsin becomes the prize that determines the winner. Contrary to several recent polls, and an RCP Average, that says Obama has a 2.8% lead in Wisconsin, my numbers are much tighter with Obama up by only 1.2% as of this morning.

Wisconsin also has a demographic breakdown that is more favorable to Romney with notably more Catholics than the national average (29.5% to 18.3%) and fewer Latinos than the national average (5.9% to 16.3%). Additionally the gender and race demographics are favorable to Romney, and it is after all Paul Ryan’s home state. None of these guarantees a Romney win there but it is not difficult to see Romney making a late charge in Wisconsin and grabbing their EC votes to win on November 6 with a 271 to 267 margin.

And here is Tom’s starting position:

That’s a tight race, and we’ve seen a lot of maps like this one — including from yours truly.

To me, expanding the battlegrounds into Blue Country isn’t just about increasing Romney’s odds of winning, however. It’s also about increasing his margin of victory. I don’t want a win; I want a mandate. I don’t want the Democrats to keep control of the Senate; I want Romney to bring along some also-rans on his coattails, like Tom Smith in PA. There are some marginal House races where a Romney presence might just make a difference, too.

It also sends a powerful message from Romney to the new Congress: Follow me, because I lead.

And that’s a helluva lot better than: Help me along, because I barely hobbled into the White House.