Courtesy of MCT
Ohio State is “probably the most relevant university in this campaign.”
At least according to James Carville, a political consultant and commentator and prominent figure in the Democratic Party.
He called Ohio “the most influential state” in the election.
Accenting the importance of the Buckeye State, the Ohio Union Activities Board is scheduled to host a debate Tuesday between former presidential aides Carville and Karl Rove, who served under former President Bill Clinton and former President George W. Bush, respectively.
According to the New York Times political blog, “FiveThirtyEight,” Ohio has the highest “relative likelihood that an individual voter would determine the Electoral College winner.”
The blog also ranked Ohio as No. 1 in “the probability that a state provides the decisive electoral vote.”
“FiveThirtyEight,” Carville said, is one of the most trusted and widely read political blogs.
Carville said it is possible for a candidate to win the presidential election without winning Ohio, but it is unlikely.
He said it is “more possible” for President Barack Obama to win the election without winning Ohio than it would be for Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.
Carville noted the prevalence of campaign advertisements in the state.
“I’m afraid to turn on my television when I’m in Columbus,” Carville said.
Carville said the Obama and Romney campaigns must “be very sophisticated in what they do,” in terms of the way they campaign in Ohio because of the state’s importance in the election.
“I think that people receive their information in different ways,” he said. “Communication has changed pretty radically over the years.”
This affects the way candidates campaign.
The Internet and social media should be a focus of the campaigns’ targeting students because student voters do not “read the newspaper and very few of them watch the nightly news,” Carville said.
And Carville sees the Obama campaign targeting students much more than the Romney campaign.
The Obama campaign has a website specifically for young Americans and students, as well as a Facebook, Twitter and Obama for America mobile application.
Romney has a Twitter and the Romney store has a Facebook application.
“I think that by and large, college voters have frequently and overwhelmingly sided with Democrats,” Carville said, and this election is no exception.
Carville said he believes college-aged voters find fault with Romney’s policies on many issues. He said student loans, taxes and global warming, specifically will be key issues to young people in this election.
Obama spoke extensively about student loans at Capital University on Aug. 21. He spoke of his own experience paying student loans and the importance of making college more affordable.
According to his website, Obama has doubled funding for Pell Grants, paying for this by “eliminating the middlemen from the college-loan program, taking away billions of taxpayer dollars that were going to the banks instead of students.”
The federal financial aid system is “unnecessarily complex,” according to “A Chance for Every Child: Mitt Romney’s Plan for Restoring the Promise of American Education.”
The plan says the Romney administration will “eliminate (federal) programs that are duplicative, inefficient or ineffective,” and “embrace a private-sector role” in student loans.
It comes as no surprise that Obama and Romney have differing opinions about taxes, given the long-standing debate between Democrats and Republicans with this issue.
If elected, Romney says he will make a 20 percent cut in marginal rates, maintain current rates on interest, dividends and capital gains and cut the corporate rate to 25 percent from 35 percent, according to his website.
“Lowering taxes on small business will help create jobs,” said Niraj Antani, communications director for the OSU College Republicans. “Romney believes that the middle class and lower income Americans, and even higher income Americans should be able to keep the income they earn.”
Drew Stroemple, president of OSU College Republicans agreed. “Romney is making (taxes) simple,” he said. “Republicans believe that every American should get to pay lower taxes.”
According to his website, Obama “supports reform that cuts corporate tax rates, closes loopholes and rewards investment in America.”
Romney and Obama also have conflicting policies on global warming.
Obama called climate change “one of the biggest issues of this generation,” as part of an online debate on ScienceDebate.org.
Romney said, “we must support continued debate and investigation within the scientific community.”
In an earlier speech at the Republican National Convention, Romney dismissed global warming. “President Obama promised to slow the rise of the oceans and to heal the planet. My promise is to help you and your family,” he said.
“Romney understands that we need to use our natural resources to our advantage,” Antani said.
“Obama wants to put the coal business out of business,” Antani said this is a problem for many Ohio State students. “The coal industry is essentially paying their tuition,” he said, because coal production is essential to the mid-west economy.
Obama has “set a 10-year goal to develop and deploy cost-effective clean coal technology,” according to his website, and has “implemented numerous initiatives to improve miner health and safety.
Carville said the Romney campaign has become desperate after the Democratic National Convention, and as the election gets closer, “Romney is going to get increasingly aggressive in everything.”
The OUAB debate is scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.