In Ohio, Mitt Romney won the cities and suburbs and Rick Santorum won the rural areas. On CNN, Gloria Borger and Hilary Rosen on the left and Erick Erickson on the Right argued that this was bad news for Romney because he lost GOP strongholds and won in areas Barack Obama is sure to carry in November. This was spoken so confidently, and reflected all over Twitter, that it may become a piece of conventional wisdom. But it makes no sense. It is important for a Republican candidate to show some strength in areas Republicans don’t win in the general election because that support will cut into the size of the majorities Obama will rack up there. Assuming that the Republican nominee will manage to win Republican areas, this is the path to victory not only in Ohio but in every swing state. One can only assume that when November rolls around, even the problems conservatives troubled by Romney’s ideological laxity and evangelicals troubled by Romney’s Mormonism would have with him pale by comparison with their negative feelings about Obama.
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