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Election May Come Down To Florida & Ohio

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney's path to the White House continues to shrink with each new poll and each day he has to spend answering questions about the shape of his campaign.

The swing states of Florida and Ohio have been key to Romney's campaign thus far and as of Wednesday, Romney is losing big in both states. Historically speaking, no Republican has ever won the presidency without carrying the state of Ohio.

Florida had at one point been considered a Republican lean by many pollsters, but after the Democratic National Convention, the Sunshine State has tilted Democrat and is now a Democratic-lean heading into the final month of the election.

Currently, the FiveThirtyEight forecast model and operated by Nate Silver gives Romney a 20 percent chance of winning Ohio on November 6. But, Silver said Obama's lead in Ohio may be larger than his overall lead in the national race which is anywhere form 4-7 points as of Wednesday.

Silver's model found Obama currently is at least a 90 percent favorite to win in states that would give him 255 Electoral College votes. A total of 270 is needed to win and while Obama would be close to the magic number, Romney would still be alive.

Based on Silver's model, Romney would have to carry both Florida and North Carolina. If Romney loses Florida and Ohio, Silver said it would be impossible for Romney to overcome. Silver said his forecast model ran 25,001 simulations where Romney lost Florida and Ohio and none found him win the election.

"If we lose Ohio, can we still win?" the Romney campaign told "I say if its and buts were candy and nuts everyday would be Christmas.… I just don't deal in if-then statements."

But Romney's campaign is making Ohio a top priority as evidence by the bus tour starting Monday with both Romney and his running mate Paul Ryan.

Romney's time to stem the tide of the polling that is favoring the president is running dangerously short. Absentee voting starts in Iowa on Thursday, which is another key swing state Romney can't lose if he hopes to win the White House.

Next Tuesday, Ohio and Florida voters can start voting absentee for the presidency. Two key Western battleground states, Colorado and Nevada begin absentee voting on October 17.

Romney has three final chances on a national stage to make a serious impact on Obama's poll numbers and that's in the upcoming debates. The Obama campaign has repeatedly tried to lower expectations as the debates near.

The first debate is scheduled for October 3 with the final debate scheduled for October 22 at Lynn University in Boca Raton.

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