The nation's unemployment rate of 8.2 percent may sink President Barack Obama's re-election bid, but one detail brightens his hopes. About 10 battleground states will decide the election, and seven of them have employment levels that beat the U.S. average.
That doesn't guarantee a second term, of course. But it's a reminder that the national rate, from a purely political standpoint, is not necessarily the be-all, end-all statistic.
Most of the states are led by Republican governors eager to highlight their progress in creating jobs. That complicates GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney's claim that the economy has been so mismanaged that Obama deserves to be ousted.
In addition, a chief Romney criticism, that Obama is hindering energy production, is undermined by robust drilling for natural gas that's creating jobs and some wealthy landowners in two important states, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Read more;