I haven't spent a great deal of time in Ohio, but I have driven through it, and I must say, it's interstates and strip mall sprawl do exude a certain majesty. I couldn't quite put my finger on it, but as I was looking out the window of my car, I thought to myself, "I may very well be in the most important place in the entire United States and I think I need to find another rest stop fast, because that beef jerky is not sitting very well."
Turns out I was right. On both counts. FiveThirtyEight's Nate Silver explains how and why Ohio will decide our nation's fate…
We are now running about 40,000 Electoral College simulations each day. In the simulations that we ran on Monday, the candidate who won Ohio won the election roughly 38,000 times, or in about 95 percent of the cases…
[I]f Ohio is almost a must-win for Mr. Romney, the same case could be argued for Mr. Obama… Mr. Obama’s narrow lead in Ohio accounts for the bulk of his overall advantage in the forecast right now. Were Ohio decreed to Mr. Romney by fiat, Mr. Obama’s chances of winning would decline to 57 percent from 70 percent in the forecast.
Ohio is central enough in the electoral math that it now seems to matter as much as the other 49 states put together.
Interestingly, the name "Ohio" comes from an old Iroquois word "ohi-yo," which roughly translates to "placate me."
Tags: Electoral College, Ohio