May 16, 2011 2:58 PM GMT
Joyce McNears peers over her reading glasses and asks a question, expecting no answer: "Why is the president still not talking about jobs?"
Along with her son and grandson, the 66-year-old McNears matriarch is counting stock and rearranging shelves in the family hardware store that has seen good times and bad times in this Ohio River town.
Lately, times have been bad.
Joyce has lived in Belmont County and voted for Democrats all her life. Yet President Barack Obama and U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, both Democrats, won't get her vote next year.
Belmont went for Obama in 2008 but voted against his policies in 2010, when the Democrat-rich county went for Republican Rob Portman for U.S. Senate.
That's a problem for Democrats going into 2012 because Ohio has supported the winner in 27 of the last 29 presidential elections. It is perhaps the nation's most critical swing state.