Ohio Gov. John Kasich declared Sunday that GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney is now poised to beat President Barack Obama in his critical battleground state.
Appearing on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Kasich cited internal campaign polling that shows Romney with a lead in The Buckeye State.
This was the first time that Kasich said Romney could carry the state. He pointed to a swing in momentum since the first presidential debate in which Romney bested President Obama’s lackluster performance.
The debates were a turning point in Romney’s campaign for president because they gave people a chance to see him, rather than what he was portrayed as in commercials and interviews.
“You look at his history and it tells you who the guy is,” Kasich said. “He’s pragmatic, no question about it, but he’s also tough and he’s firm and he understands job creation . . . I’ve never seen a debate have this much impact. The first debate gave people a chance to see him.”
Concerns about people not “getting” Romney should not be an issue, according to Kasich, because of his record in business, as governor of Massachusetts, and in turning around the 2002 Winter Olympics where he was a “pure leader.”
“I believe that he was able to connect with people and they thought, ‘you know, maybe he does get me. And that was an important part of why there’s so much momentum in the state of Ohio right now,” he said.
Kasich, nevertheless, predicted a close election.
“It’s going to be really close,” Kasich said. “I do think we’re going to know before the end of the night. The independent voters are trending high toward Romney.”