Rob Portman: Romney Can Still Win Without Ohio

Senator Rob Portman has a lot of faith in Mitt Romney.

The Ohio Republican thinks that Romney still has a shot at winning the White House even if he can’t carry the Buckeye State, ABC OTUS News reported. Appearing on This Week, Rob Portman made the bold claim, perhaps attempting to boost Republican enthusiasm or help Romney close the gap that still exists in Ohio.

Rob Portman’s prediction is certainly curious. No Republican has ever won the White House without taking Ohio, and Romney’s path to 270 electoral votes would be incredibly narrow without Ohio. To win the 2012 presidential election without taking Ohio, he would need to win nearly every other toss-up state, including at least one or two where Obama has a clear advantage. Think Michigan or Nevada.

Though Rob Portman said Romney could win without Ohio, he’s hoping it doesn’t come to that point.

“Look, you can probably win the presidency without Ohio, but I wouldn’t want to take the risk. No Republican has. And we’re doing great in Ohio,” Rob Portman said. “If you look at the average of all the polls, it’s about dead-even in Ohio right now. And importantly, the momentum’s on our side. It’s been terrific.”

So far, despite strong nationwide momentum after his stellar first debate performance, Mitt Romney has struggled to make up room in Ohio. A poll from PPP released in the past few days shows Obama leading 51 percent to 46 percent.

Portman also predicted that after faltering in the first debate, Obama would “come out swinging” in the second one.

“I think President Obama is gonna come out swinging. I think he’s gonna have to compensate for a poor first debate, and I think that’ll be consistent with what they’ve been doing this whole campaign, Jake, which is running a highly negative ad campaign,” Portman told the host of This Week. “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.”

Do you think Rob Portman is right, or does Romney need Ohio if he wants to see the White House?