Magic Number of the Day: 269,400


Photograph by Aaron Showalter/Pool via Bloomberg

President Barack Obama, right, with David Cameron, U.K. prime minister, in New York, on Sept. 21, 2011.

That’s how many manufacturing jobs Ohio has lost in the past 10 years.

President Obama heads to Ohio today with British Prime Minister David Cameron, not to talk manufacturing jobs, but to watch the start of March Madness. The White House says this high-profile visit is not a political move. Regardless of one’s belief in the administration’s claim, it’s madness not to think this sports outing to such a key battleground state isn’t a potential political win.

But can the president win on the numbers?

As he faces Ohio voters in what will likely be many visits to the state over the next eight months, Obama will have to walk the fine line between playing up the 30,000-person rebound in the past two years and sounding tone deaf to the continued hardships. Manufacturing employment in Ohio was 639,300 in December 2011, up from low of 609,300 in November 2009, helped by a federal bailout – opposed by Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney – of the auto industry that aided Ohio.

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