Ohio is again unfolding as a crucial battleground in the Presidential election, its eighteen electoral votes critical to both candidates. On Wednesday, President Obama made his fourth trip to the state since January; Mr. Romney will arrive on Thursday.
About 54% of the state’s electorate is white and working class, a group that both Mr. Obama and Mr. Romney have had a hard time connecting with.
Many have not felt the effects of the recovery that has lifted the economy, leaving them unenthusiastic about the President. At the same time, Mr. Romney is awkward, unsympathetic and distant.
Signs of life in the automobile industry, along with new jobs in the energy sector, have lifted Ohio’s economy and pushed the unemployment rate down to 7.6%, lower than the national average. A Ford factory in Lorain County has plans to produce a new line of trucks, and a steel plant is now planning new production. Indeed, Ohio gained more jobs than any other state in February.
Economic improvement will be critical to Mr. Obama’s argument that he deserves re-election. But the economy is still weaker than several years ago, and many people are unemployed.
Mr. Obama carried Ohio by four points four years ago, but the state will likely be more competitive this time. His campaign opened its seventeenth office this week.
Via The New York Times.
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