At the Republican National Convention, a number of swing-state GOP governors have boasted of the strength of the economic recovery in their states. But there’s a catch: This might actually be great news — for Obama.
As TPM has previously noted, key swing states have generally been experiencing lower unemployment rates than the nation as a whole — a factor that could help Obama’s performance in those states, according to some electoral prediction models, though it is not a guarantee.
For example, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell boasted Tuesday night in his convention speech: “We’ve added 151,000 net new jobs. We’ve had nearly $1.4 billion in budget surpluses and we’ve done it by keeping regulation and litigation to a minimum, and we haven’t raised taxes!”
in his own address to the convention Tuesday, Ohio Gov. John Kasich said: “But ladies and gentlemen, when over those last four years we had lost 400,000 jobs, in Ohio today we have grown new jobs by 122,000 — 120,000 families better off. But you know what? The wind is in our face — the president has given us headwinds.”
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, a superstar of the convention after his victory in the state recall election, declared Tuesday night: “Like many places across the country, Wisconsin lost more than 100,000 jobs from 2008 to 2010. Unemployment during that time topped out at over 9%. But because of our reforms, Wisconsin has added thousands of new jobs and our unemployment rate is down from when I first took office.”
Indeed, Walker himself was aware of this problem back in June, in a breakfast meeting with reporters — though he believed credit should rightly belong with the GOP governors:
“If you look at not only Wisconsin, but a number of key swing states, there’s Republican governors in those states who have put in place aggressive policies that have helped turn the economy around,” he said. “And so, oddity of oddities, one of the beneficiaries of that might be the president.”