NPR logo Obama Re-Election Road Via Ohio, Penn. Gets Harder

Election 2010

Obama Re-Election Road Via Ohio, Penn. Gets Harder

With the loss of Ohio's governorship to Republican John Kasich who beat incumbent Ted Strickland, President Obama's road to re-election just got a lot harder.

Ditto for Pennsylvania which has a Republican governor-elect too, Tom Corbett who beat Democrat Dan Onarato by ten points.

Obama won both states in 2008. He could rely on the political organizations and energetic campaigning of Democratic governors in both states to win the electoral-vote rich states.

But now those advantages will be non-existent during the president's 2012 re-election campaign.

Obama was particularly keen to hold onto Ohio, a state he visited about a dozen times as he tried to keep it in Democratic hands, especially with congressional redistricting about to take place.

But he was fighting powerful economic and political currents. The recession and weak recovery, with its high unemployment rate, have created a hostile attitude towards Democrats in the state.

Meanwhille, the economic stimulus and health care overhaul were as unpopular in Ohio as elsewhere, maybe more so in some parts of the state.

Add to that Ohio's long Republican tradition and the challenges facing Obama there become obvious.

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