Obama's back-up plan: How to win re-election without Ohio

While Mr. Obama’s approval ratings have slid across the board as unemployment remains high, what buoys Democrats are the changing demographics of formerly Republican states like Colorado, where Democrats won a close Senate race in 2010, as well as Virginia and North Carolina.

With growing cities and suburbs, they are populated by increasing numbers of educated and higher-income independents, young voters, Hispanics and African-Americans, many of them alienated by Republicans’ Tea Party agenda…

Virginia, North Carolina and Colorado together have more than double the number of Ohio’s votes in the Electoral College — 37 versus 18. And Obama advisers say that the same demographic factors at play in those states are also present in states Mr. Obama lost in 2008 — like Arizona (whose senior senator, Mr. McCain, was his rival) and Georgia.

Except for Indiana, a long shot, Obama advisers say the president will be favored or competitive everywhere he won before, including Ohio.