With one day to go before the election, the focus on Ohio has awoken memories of the state’s decisive role in the 2004 presidential race.
By carrying Ohio this year, President Barack Obama has bet the keys to his house on doing what Massachusetts Senator John Kerry couldn’t do eight years ago: block the Republican nominee’s path to victory. No Republican, after all, has ever won the White House without carrying Ohio.
There’s one wrinkle, however, thanks to the decennial reapportionment. If the electoral map in 2004 looked like electoral map today, President George W. Bush would have still won the Electoral College even if Kerry had pulled off a narrow victory in Ohio.
What does this mean for tomorrow night? The bet here is that former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney will carry Ohio but will win enough other electoral votes that he could have captured the White House even without the Buckeye State’s 18.