Obama, Romney Tackle Ohio: No. 5

Photograph by Ty Wright/Bloomberg

Crash test dummy hands labeled before being packaged for spare parts at the Humanetics Innovative Solutions facility in Huron, Ohio.


Historically, a must-win for a Republican presidential candidate. In practice, a big get for a Democrat.

It’s also No. 5 on another important list, Bloomberg’s State of the States — read on.

Both President Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney are there today — appearing at virtually the same time this afternoon. The president will deliver what the White House has clearly identified as a campaign speech about the economy at Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland. Romney will campaign in Cincinnati.

They will play against an improving backdrop in a state that shed manufacturing jobs. Ohio ranked seventh in improving economic health during the past year, by the count of the Bloomberg Economic Evaluation of States.  Counting from the first quarter of 2009 through the last quarter of 2011, tracking Obama’s presidency, Ohio ranked fifth in economic health. Its mortgage delinquency last year, it rate ranked 13th, while employment growth ranked 32nd.

So there is fuel for either candidate’s fire today — from the president’s point of view, an economy improving yet in need of more work;  from Romney’s perspective, a failed attempt to make things better. And Obama doesn’t get a do-over, the Republicans say.

The Republican National Committee walks into the day with a Web-video proclaiming: “Sorry President Obama, President’s Don’t Get Mulligans.” It starts with a 2009 clip of the president saying: “If I don’t have this done in three years, then this is going to be a one-term proposition. It closes with five repeats of a missed put on a green with words for what didn’t work — an $825 billion stimulus, a “health care takeover” and a lot of speeches.

The party ad overlooks the fact that there is wide consensus surrounding the temporary impact of the stimulus — that it staved off a steeper decline, and was responsible for saving or creating at least a million jobs, the actual number a matter of dispute.

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