The Romney formula depends on turning out the GOP base, especially on the energy-oriented Western Slope and in El Paso County’s Colorado Springs, home to a politically active evangelical Christian community and a heavy military influence. This year, the expectation among Republicans is that Romney will also gain more traction in the Denver suburbs than John McCain.
From Mr. Romney’s point of view, conversely, that might seem to make Florida a must-win state. In fact, it’s possible to put some numbers around this idea.
Defining a must-win state in a formal way is a bit tricky. For example, is Georgia a must-win for Mr. Romney? If he loses it, he would almost certainly lose the Electoral College. But that is because Georgia is much more Republican-leaning than the states that we would ordinarily classify as swing states. If things get bad enough for Mr. Romney to lose Georgia, his map will almost certainly be a disaster in a number of other ways.
According to a GOP source with access to private polling being done by independent Republican groups (who are spending a lot of money tracking public opinion in the battleground states), Romney is in trouble in two must-win states:
Ohio: Romney down 5 percent.
Virginia: Romney down 4 percent.
Mitt Romney began a two-day campaign swing through battleground states Iowa, New Hampshire and Virginia on Friday, using poor jobs data to stomp on any uplift President Barack Obama received from the Democratic convention.
Embarking on his first campaigning since holing up in Vermont for three days to practice for next month's presidential debates, Romney touched down in the state of Iowa armed with a weak jobs report that the Republican challenger immediately used to flog Obama, saying his policies have hurt the US economy.