Saturday, June 2, 2012

UK: Can Obama claim victory as some states improve

The Economist


Many states key to November’s election are doing better; whether the president can exploit that is another matter

Jun 2nd 2012 | WASHINGTON, DC

ON MAY 24th Barack Obama launched a blistering attack on Mitt Romney’s business background from the state fairgrounds in Iowa. A week later Mr Romney returned the favour from a furniture warehouse in Las Vegas, Nevada. The choice of venues was hardly random. Both are in “swing” states that will help determine the outcome of this November’s election. With the economy at the top of voters’ concerns, how the recovery is seen to be faring in such states could have an outsize influence on the result.

Superficially, Iowa and Nevada are opposites. Iowa’s big manufacturing sector lost one in eight of its jobs between 2007 and 2010, yet the state had no housing bubble and its unemployment rate remains among the lowest in the country. Tourism-dependent Nevada was the state worst hit by the housing bust and still struggles under the country’s highest jobless rate.

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