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Battleground Economics: Do Swing-state Conditions Favor Obama Or Romney?

The real problem in Florida is credit scores, which have slipped more than the average U.S. score. Coupled with anemic wage growth in the state, that's two out of three factors in Romney's favor.


Economic conditions are relatively strong in Iowa, though this state only has six electoral votes in play. Iowa's unemployment rate is much lower than the national average, and average salary growth since 2008 has been stronger than for the country as a whole. The only drawback is with regard to credit scores. While Iowa's median credit score is still higher than the national average, it has suffered a sharper decline since 2008.


The biggest problem in Nevada is unemployment, which is much worse than the national average. Credit scores have also taken a beating, though surprisingly, wage growth has been relatively strong. All-in-all, that makes two out of three financial factors working against Obama's capturing Nevada's six electoral votes.

New Hampshire

Like Iowa, New Hampshire is blessed with relatively low unemployment. However, wage growth has been weak, and the median credit score has suffered a worse decline than the national average. Those factors could be tip the state's four electoral votes toward Romney.


With 18 electoral votes, Ohio is one of the high-stakes battleground states. Unemployment is not only below the national average, but it has actually declined since 2008. Unfortunately for the President, wage growth has been below par, and the median credit score has seen a bigger-than-average drop.


Virginia offers 13 electoral votes, and that might be a lucky number for Obama, because this state seems the strongest economically of all the battleground states. Unemployment is low and wage growth has been high. Perhaps thanks to those factors, the median credit score has held up better in Virginia than in any of the other battleground states.


Wisconsin's unemployment rate is a bit lower than the national average, but that's the only positive factor here. Wage growth has been below average, and credit scores have suffered a bigger-than-average decline. Those negatives could help nudge the state's 10 electoral votes in Romney's direction.

Voting with their wallets

Again, a multitude of factors decide presidential elections -- even ones that focus largely on economic issues, as the 2012 contest has. But if people were to vote strictly according to their wallets in 2012, this analysis indicates that these battleground states would deliver 76 electoral votes to Romney and 19 to Obama.

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