Amid all the spin-room racketeering, one credible theme emerged from Monday night’s presidential debate: Campaign literature and TV or radio spots will sprout from the candidates’ encounters over trade with China, the auto-industry bailout, and “horses and bayonets.”

The first two topics will be fodder in Ohio, emerging as the centerpiece to President Obama’s reelection strategy and a place where top Obama advisers intend to exploit embedded advantages over Mitt Romney on trade and autos. The last two will appear in Virginia and New Hampshire, ship-building swing states Romney advisers believe will angrily recoil at Obama’s comparison of field grunts and cavalry with Naval glory and might…

If Obama wins Ohio and its 18 electoral votes, the Electoral College math for GOP nominee Mitt Romney goes from finding the value of X in algebra to counting quaternions in three-dimensional space. It can be done. It’s just really, really hard.