In 8 swing states, economy narrowly favors Obama
If fiscal matters end up determining the outcome of this election, Obama could eke out a victory with help from regions where conditions aren't so bad.
By most accounts, the November presidential election will come down to the vote count in perhaps half a dozen swing states. So if you're a voter in Ohio or Florida or Colorado, this election is all about you.
It's also about the economy and whether voters feel like things are getting materially better or staying stuck in the doldrums. President Barack Obama's re-election bid is obviously a tough sell, since no president has won a second term in modern times with the unemployment rate above 8 percent, as it is now. His Republican opponent, Mitt Romney, is promising to create 12 million new jobs if elected.
National trends don't necessarily reveal how workers are faring in the swing states, however, so I did some analysis on economic conditions in eight states judged by election expert Larry Sabato of the University of Virginia to be tossups: New Hampshire, Virginia, Florida, Ohio, Iowa, Wisconsin, Colorado and Nevada.
In addition to factors such as each state's unemployment rate, I used data from economic consulting firm EMSI of Moscow, Idaho to rank job growth, income growth and overall economic performance in each state. I also used swing-state profiles from forecasting firm IHS Global Insight for qualitative insights into voter attitudes.
Four of the eight swing states -- New Hampshire, Virginia, Ohio and Colorado -- seem to be enjoying economic conditions that are significantly better than national averages. In theory, that favors Obama, since voters in those states are likely to feel better off compared to a year or two ago, which is usually good news for an incumbent seeking re-election. If Obama were to win those four states, it would add 44 electoral votes to his tally, just enough to put him over the top if he wins all the other states deemed to be leaning his way.
Here's a brief breakdown of how things look in each of the eight swing states:
New Hampshire. Economy favors Obama; 4 electoral votes. Unemployment is a mere 5.4 percent, while income growth and economic performance rank in the top half among states, according to EMSI. That seems like enough to overcome the Granite State's libertarian leanings and swing it Obama's way, which is how New Hampshire voted in 2008.
Virginia. Favors Obama; 13 electoral votes. It has a Republican governor, but Virginia has fared relatively well during Obama's presidency. It has low unemployment of 5.9 percent, plus better-than-average income and job growth.
Florida. Favors Romney; 29 electoral votes. It's still stormy in the Sunshine State, which has the highest foreclosure rate in the country and an unemployment rate above the national average. To really recover, Florida needs a rebound in construction, which hasn't happened yet.
Ohio. Favors Obama; 18 electoral votes. "The Ohio economy is on a roll," according to IHS. The auto bailouts helped support the manufacturing base, which has picked up sharply over the last two years. Ohio also has shale-gas deposits, allowing it to tap into the energy boom. Unemployment, at 7.2 percent, is more than a full point below the national average.
Iowa. Favors Romney; 6 electoral votes. Farmers may not blame Obama for the drought that's wrecking their crops, but they may fault him for relatively weak income and job growth. Unemployment is low, but Iowa is one state where sharp cutbacks in government jobs are hitting the broader economy, which bodes poorly for Obama.
Wisconsin. Favors Romney; 10 electoral votes. Unemployment is lower than the national average, but income and job growth have been weak in the Badger State. Plus Romney's running mate, Paul Ryan, hails from Janesville and could help flip his home state, which Obama carried in 2008.
Colorado. Favors Obama; 9 electoral votes. The unemployment rate in Colorado is the same as the national average, but there's a tangible pickup in the housing market and the manufacturing industry. Plus there have been fewer public-sector layoffs than in other states, according to IHS.
Nevada. Favors Romney; 6 electoral votes. This "sand state" is still reeling from an extreme housing bust, with a 12 percent unemployment rate that's highest in the nation and an economy that still hasn't stopped shedding jobs, even though the recession officially ended three years ago. Nevadans have mostly ended up worse off under President Obama.
Some swing-state voters could be swayed by factors other than the economy, of course. And with the race extremely close in each of these eight states, a flurry of appearances or a last-minute ad blitz by either candidate could tip the balance his way. But if the economy ends up being the final word, the state of the swing states may be just sound enough for Obama to eke out a win.
Rick Newman is the author of Rebounders: How Winners Pivot From Setback To Success. Follow him on Twitter: @rickjnewman.
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they keep saying things are better after that big recovery summer, except if you own a home, buy gas or food with your own money, or look around at the real world then its gotta be time for change
Still looks like a toss-up. If Romney can focus on jobs, jobs, jobs, he can win. Obama needs to turn our attention to Romney's shifting views. Governor Romney was moderate to liberal on most issues, while Candidate Romney has become an extreme conservative on both social and economic issues. Obama's job is to get conservative Republicans to question whether he is really conservative enough and to get independents to question whether he is too conservative.
Romney/Ryan will kill Medicare as we know it for years, sending the fragile elderly to try to buy Insurance with a wothless Vouchers. The sicker the person, the more the cost, until the sick uses all their little savings, and dies with no Insurance.That's, you need to know that their Social Security has been Privatized, and the brokers have taken all the left over money, not to cover the cost of the funeral expenses that needs to be paid by the family! This will also happened to the 55 years old when they get to Medicare, and Social Security, if there is any money leff, after Romney gave it all to the people that gave him millions for the election!! So good luck to all the we fools that beleived in the Republican, Tea party propaganda, we will pay a horrible price for the voting error!
No one wants Jamie Dimon playing with our retirement money.
Romney would dump Obama’s 2010 health-care law, a step that would expand the deficit by $109 billion over 10 years, according to the CBO, because while repeal would reduce spending it also would eliminate cost savings and higher tax revenue.
“The rest of it is missing, and the rest of it is just a huge amount of spending cuts where people have no idea where they come from,” said Richard Kogan, a senior fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a Washington group that supports policies to help lower-income households.
To reach his goals, Romney would have to look for cuts in the rest of the budget, which includes food stamps, the Environmental Protection Agency, medical research and financial regulation. Kogan, who worked in Obama’s budget office, co-wrote a May analysis that estimated Romney would need to cut programs outside of defense and Social Security by 47 percent to achieve balance in 2022 and attempted to quantify the potential effects of the reductions.
By the way TeaPartiers, the ORIGINAL Boston Tea Party was AGAINST the MONOPOLY of the East India Tea company. The ORIGINAL Tea Party is more like Democratic ideals than Republican. It was about the lack of representation of AMERICANS (the human kind) in the British government, and against a corporation which was price-fixing, and against the British government which was aiding and abetting the Tea company.
It was practically the exact opposite of protecting the wealthy and mega corporations.
Learn some history - here's some help:
"On a cold December evening, protesters gathered in Boston Harbor to reject the latest shipment of tea from the East India Co. They were speaking out against the Tea Act, which allowed the East India Co. to sell its tea at reduced cost, thus giving the British-government-controlled company an effective monopoly"
The real issue at hand, of course, was the colonists' lack of representation in the British Parliament."
- Read more at Time (dot) com
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Breaking up big banks is an untested solution to the too big to fail problem that attempts to isolate and dismantle large, troubled institutions while protecting the rest of the economy.
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