What’s changed since then? Well, let’s look at what hasn’t changed first. The state’s unemployment rate remains below the national average (7 percent in September) and the auto bailout remains popular, as evidenced by Romney’s flailing attempts to muddy the waters on the issue in recent days.
What has changed is that Romney’s performance in the first debate in early October bumped him back into contention in the state — as it did in virtually every other swing state, as well as nationally — and the natural partisanship of the state started to assert itself.
The simple fact is that Ohio has been too close for too long to expect that Obama would win it by five points or more. (Even the most optimistic pro-Obama types would have acknowledged that a month ago.)