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Ohio's Economic Picture Offers Political Dilemma

Kasich said Wednesday that too many people in Ohio remain out of work. "We're doing really well, but we have a long, long way to go," he said.

The governor supports Republican Mitt Romney and has campaigned for the GOP presidential nominee around Ohio. On Wednesday, he campaigned for Republican U.S. Senate candidate Josh Mandel.

Asked how the state's job numbers would factor into the Nov. 6 presidential election, Kasich said, "There's no question that if the unemployment's down to 7 percent that people feel better. But the election's so close, that I don't know how it's going to come out at this point."

Ohio has 18 electoral votes, seventh most in the nation, and no Republican has won the White House without carrying it.

Each side has used the job numbers in Ohio to portray their records in the best possible light.

Obama supporters have pointed to his administration's auto bailout as a reason for Ohio's unemployment rate being below the national average.

House Speaker John Boehner, who is from the Cincinnati area, has noted the political predicament in his home state. He's said that Kasich's success fixing government regulations and attracting new businesses as governor may be working against Romney in Ohio.

Kasich told reporters he doesn't pay attention to surveys, but he's under the impression that people are giving credit to state leaders.

"There are some people who would give the president credit, but that's not where most Ohioans see it," he said. "They see it you know through the administration, the legislature â¿¿ that they deserve compliments for it."

"I don't even like this discussion," Kasich added. "People are going to work and I'm happy about it. Let the chips fall where they may."

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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