OHIO…. The new McCain campaign memo would have benefited from a fact-checker.

Everyone knows that vote rich Ohio and Pennsylvania will be key battlegrounds for this election. Between the two: 41 electoral votes and no candidate has gotten to the White House without Ohio.

Actually, several presidents have won without Ohio. As Yglesias noted, “JFK lost Ohio in 1960, FDR lost Ohio in 1944, Grover Cleveland lost Ohio in 1892.” Indeed, Cleveland won with presidency without Ohio in 1884, James Buchanan won without Ohio in 1856, Zachary Taylor won without Ohio in 1848, James K. Polk won without Ohio in 1844, Martin Van Buren won without Ohio in 1836, and John Quincy Adams won without Ohio in 1824. (I should add, by the way, that Al Gore kinda sorta won in 2000 without Ohio, too.)

What the McCain campaign meant was no Republican has won the White House without Ohio. And given the available evidence, it’s a fact the McCain gang must find discouraging right about now.

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.