The U.S. Department of Labor recently released statistics showing that unemployment isn’t just falling on a national level, but falling in several key election swing states as well. Unemployment in Florida, Ohio, Colorado, Iowa, and North Carolina are down, while Virginia’s rate remains unchanged.
While such a revelation would seem to bolster President Obama’s reelection chances, the economies in many of these same states are still recovering slowly. For example, the unemployment rate in Florida may have fallen 1.7% from one year ago, but the rate itself is still high, currently sitting at 8.7%.
Mitt Romney’s campaign is running on the candidate’s experience in business and that he “knows what it takes” to create jobs. The Obama campaign will now have firm numbers to point to when touting the president’s record on job creation. The topic will no doubt come up tonight during the third and final presidential debate.
Whether these new and better unemployment numbers will affect the presidential election is unclear. According to Real Clear Politics, a poll aggregation website, Romney currently leads by about 2% in Florida, while Obama leads by about 2% in Ohio. Other swing states, such as Virginia and Colorado, are currently shown as dead-heats.
National polls are also showing a dead heat, though Romney has had the edge for most of the past two weeks. However, Romney is trailing in important states such as Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. The electoral votes of those three states and Ohio would put Obama just a few electoral votes from reelection, meaning a win in Iowa, Nevada, or Virginia could give Obama the 270 electoral votes needed to win.