May 25, 2012 8:21 PM GMT
Bloomberg NewsFrom extra shifts at auto and steel plants in Ohio to office buildings rising in Northern Virginia, the geography of the U.S. economic rebound is providing an edge to President Barack Obama’s re-election.
The unemployment rates in a majority of the 2012 battleground states are lower than the national average as those economies improve. Coupled with the growth of adult minority populations in those states, the trends create a higher bar for presumed Republican Party presidential nominee Mitt Romney in his quest to unseat Obama.
“There are jobs out there,” said Chris McGiffen, 47, of Zanesville, Ohio, who moved to the state in 2010 from St. Louis to look for work. He found a job as a welder at Columbus Castings, a steel foundry that makes products such as undercarriages for railroad cars, he said.
Nine states switched from supporting Republican President George W. Bush in 2004 to Democrat Obama in 2008. Leaving out Indiana, which both sides say is leaning Republican after supporting Obama four years ago, the remaining eight are again shaping up as the central election battleground.
Those eight states -- Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia -- have a combined 101 electoral votes. Romney must win at least 79 of those electoral votes to prevail if all other states run true to their 2004 and 2008 partisan preferences.