Forget all that you heard about what will be the deciding factor in this election coming up Tuesday. The real deciding factor is whether the people that know the presidential candidates will vote for them. And Mitt Romney is on the losing end of this all important question right now.

Mitt Romney looks like the odds on favorite to lose not only his home state of Michigan, but also Massachusetts, where he was Governor for one term. And to make things even worse, Romney’s running mate, Paul Ryan, looks like he’s not going to be able to deliver his home state of Wisconsin as well. This will likely cost the Romney-Ryan ticket the election on Tuesday.

By contrast, President Obama looks like he’ll win his home state of Illinois by a handy margin, although these numbers should likely be down a little bit from 2008.

In the hotly contested, disputed and very close 2000 election, Vice President Al Gore actually didn’t lose the election because of Florida. He lost the election because he lost his home state of Tennessee. The voters of his own home state who knew him best rejected him. And he lost the election because of this. George McGovern in 1972 was another recent candidate unable to win his home state, although he lost by one of the worst electoral defeats of all time. Walter Mondale was at least able to win his home state of Minnesota in 1984, despite his huge electoral loss. Jimmy Carter was able to win Georgia in 1980 despite his landslide loss to Ronald Reagan. Folks back home still trusted their hometown son. That at least said that his home state folks appreciated him. But, for Al Gore and George McGovern, the message was also pretty clear what folks back home thought about these guys.

Mitt Romney is in the same boat here. Although his father was the very popular Governor of Michigan, Romney’s drop-dead, go bankrupt approach to the auto industry hasn’t made a lot of friends among many of the Detroit autoworkers. This is one of issues that will loom large in his likely Tuesday defeat in Michigan. Further, as a one-term governor of Massachusetts, voters don’t seem to appreciate his service as good enough to elect him president as well. And likewise, Paul Ryan actually has only authored and passed just two pieces of legislation in his 14 years in Congress, which is hardly a stellar record by any means. He can’t deliver Wisconsin it seems.

The Romney-Ryan ticket can look forward to winning around 248 electoral votes right now, according to the best projections. But, the fact of the matter is that if this ticket could have just won their three home states, they could have been elected. It’s the people who know Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan best who aren’t voting for them. And they are highly likely to lose the election because of this.

Forget all of the expensive ads, debates or campaign appearances. Unless the people who know you will vote for you, then you’re sunk. It’s that simple.