Republicans have hoped that the economic downturn they created could help them win mid-western states should voters blame the incumbent for the state of the economy. Despite all their effort to slow economic recovery, Bloomberg shows signs that Obama might wind up benefiting from recent economic improvement in the region:
From northern Michigan’s iron mines to Pennsylvania’s natural-gas fields, the industrial heartland of America is humming with jobs again as a region once left for dead recovers faster than the rest of the U.S.
The turnaround may shape this year’s race for the White House as President Barack Obama seeks to reverse Republican gains in the Midwest. The title of his State of the Union address, “An America Built to Last,” evoked a theme of manufacturing’s revival meant to resonate on the campaign trail.
The economies of Michigan, Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania — all states Obama won in 2008 — have improved faster than that of the U.S. since the recession’s depth in April 2009, according to the Philadelphia Federal Reserve. Michigan is expected to lead all 50 states during the next six months, the Fed data show.
“We’re going back to a region we abandoned a long time ago to get energy again from rocks that were already drilled a thousand times,” said Clay Williams, chief financial officer for Houston-based National Oilwell Varco Inc. (NOV), which started in Oil City, Pennsylvania, in 1862. “We’re going back to our roots.”
Economic recovery in so-called Rust Belt states may bolster re-election chances for Obama, who pushed the U.S.-backed bailout of General Motors Co. (GM) and Chrysler Group LLC, both based in Michigan. He visited the state in a three-day campaign swing following his speech, and was greeted by guest editorials in Detroit newspapers from Republican National Chairman Reince Priebus and Michigan GOP Chairman Robert Schostak criticizing his record on the economy…
Michigan, Ohio and Indiana all ranked among the top eight performers for improvement of economic health in the Bloomberg Economic Evaluation of States from the third quarter of 2009 through the third quarter of last year, the most recent period available.
Automakers are increasing production after U.S. light- vehicle sales rose at least 10 percent for two straight years for the first time since 1984. This month, GM announced it had regained the title as the top-selling global automaker, which it lost to Toyota as it slid into bankruptcy.
The Obama campaign is banking on the U.S. auto industry’s comeback to damp the appeal of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in Michigan, where his father was a popular governor, as well as to reverse Ohio’s swing to Republicans in the 2010 mid-term elections.