Sen. Rob Portman: Romney ‘Probably’ Could Win Election Without Ohio

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ABC News(WASHINGTON) — Speaking to ABC’s Senior White House Correspondent Jake Tapper Sunday morning on This Week, Ohio Sen. Rob Portman said GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney could “probably” win the White House without a victory in the Buckeye State, a feat that no other Republican has accomplished.

“Look, you can probably win the presidency without Ohio, but I wouldn’t want to take the risk.  No Republican has.  And we’re doing great in Ohio,” Portman said.  “If you look at the average of all the polls, it’s about dead-even in Ohio right now.  And importantly, the momentum’s on our side.  It’s been terrific.”

Portman was responding to a recent poll Tapper asked him about that showed Romney trailing the president by six points in Ohio.

Tapper also asked Portman — who is helping prep Romney by playing Obama in mock debates — what voters should expect on Tuesday, during the second presidential debate.  He predicted that Obama would come out “swinging.”

“I think President Obama is gonna come out swinging.  I think he’s gonna have to compensate for a poor first debate, and I think that’ll be consistent with what they’ve been doing this whole campaign, Jake, which is running a highly negative ad campaign,” Portman said.  “They’ve spent hundreds of millions of dollars around the country, including a lot in Ohio, mischaracterizing Gov. Romney’s positions and misrepresenting him.  And I think you’ll see that again at the debate on Tuesday night.”

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