Brian Gardner, Washington research chief for investment bank Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, predicts Mitt Romney will be elected president even though he will lose Ohio, becoming the first Republican presidential candidate to fail in the Buckeye State but win the big prize.
In a research note today headed “KBW Election Call — Sometimes You Just Go With Your Gut,” Gardner and colleague Michael Michaud say Romney will win 277 Electoral College votes to President Barack Obama’s 261.
Romney’s path to the White House, they say: Victories in Florida, Virginia, North Carolina, Colorado and — in their boldest pick — Pennsylvania, with its 20 electoral votes. Lower Pennsylvania turnout for Obama than in 2008 and “a strong showing” for Romney in the western part of the state will make the difference, according to the analysts. They say a lack of early voting in Pennsylvania also will help Romney as he benefits from a recent momentum shift there.
Romney campaigned in Pennsylvania on Nov. 4 and plans a stop in Pittsburgh (as well as Cleveland) today.
On ABC’s “”This Week” on Nov. 4, David Plouffe, White House senior adviser, called the Pennsylvania visit “a desperate ploy.” On “Fox News Sunday” the same day, Rich Beeson, Romney’s political director, called Pennsylvania “very fertile ground” for the former Massachusetts governor.