The state’s battleground status should not be a surprise: it has backed the winner in every presidential vote since 1960. What is unusual this time around is the suggestion of opinion polls that President Barack Obama may win a larger slice of the vote in Ohio than he does nationally; in all but one election since 1976, the Democratic presidential candidate’s performance in the state has lagged behind his national showing.
Should the reverse indeed happen this year it could only be attributed to one factor: the president’s decision to rescue the US car industry. That act has led Ohio from a double-digit unemployment rate as recently as October 2010 to a jobless rate of 7 per cent today, below the national rate of 7.8 per cent. Continue reading »