Friday, January 22, 2010

Calendars hate Ted Strickland.

First, Governor Strickland chose the same day as the Massachusetts Miracle to kickoff his re-election and was swallowed up in the news.

Then he had to move his State of the State address because the President picked the same day as him.

And now, Ted Strickland has to enjoy the massive publicity that comes with a Presidential visit to Ohio to discuss "job generation" on the same day we learn Ohio's unemployment rate has risen to 10.9%.

In fact, Mark Knoller reported Obama will say, "today, because of the actions we took, the worst of this economic storm has passed." Well, Mr. President, almost 11% of Ohio's workforce disagrees with you.

The reality is this - today's event combined with the release of unemployment numbers isn't the kind of publicity that helps people forget the "Turnaround Ohio" promise. And it doesn't help Ted Strickland get re-elected.

So what does the data say?

Since Strickland took office:
  • Unemployment has increased by 102%.
  • Ohio's labor force has decreased by 65,960.
  • 383,015 fewer Ohioans are employed.
Out of curiousity I checked out what New Jersey's unemployment rate was when Corzine lost his re-election campaign.

9.8%. A full 1.1 points lower than Ohio's current rate. And even in deep blue New Jersey, Corzine couldn't pull out a victory. Makes you wonder what will happen in purple Ohio.

Also, and as we've been doing for the past couple unemployment reports, we're checking to see what Ohio's unemployment rate would look like if things turned around the following month at a rate similar to the fastest continuous job recovery in 30 years in Ohio - +0.3% - and continued as such until the campaigns kicked into high gear in September. That formula would put Ohio at 8.5% unemployment in September. Still 57% higher than when Jello Ted came into office.

Finally, one has to wonder if the Governor will be in attendance this afternoon at the President's event. Would a Toxic Ted appearance further damage the President's reputation in Ohio, or will the President's string of bad luck drop Strickland's job approval numbers even lower?

Ultimately, it's hard to imagine any scenario where today's increased focus on bad news in Ohio helps Governor Strickland.

Thanks, President Obama.

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