Here’s Why The Midwest Has Tilted Against President Barack Obama

President Obama speaks at an assembly plant in Toledo in June, one of seven trips to Ohio during his presidency.

The Midwest carried President Barack Obama to the White House in 2008. But when it comes to his re-election prospects in 2012, there are signs the president may have a more arduous task across the region.

Thirteen months away from the next presidential election, the president’s approval ratings have sunk. In Michigan, 65 percent of likely voters disapprove of the job he’s done. In Wisconsin, 51 percent disapprove. In Ohio, his 42 percent approval rating is the lowest of his tenure thus far.

In Pennsylvania, 54 percent of voters disapprove of his job. And in Indiana, which went for a Democrat in 2008 for the first time since 1964, Obama’s disapproval rating has ratcheted up to 60 percent. In 2010, Republican governors were elected in Wisconsin, Michigan and Ohio.

Far from the hope of sweeping the region again, even safe Democratic strongholds now appear in play. His approval rating in Minnesota hovers just above 50 percent. Perhaps most ominously, voters in Obama’s home state of Illinois gave his former Senate seat to Republican Mark Kirk last year.

“So go the Great Lakes, so goes the country,” writes Brett M. Decker in The Washington Times today. “That’s bad news for Barack.”

One reason Midwestern voters are turning against Obama? Of the eight Midwestern states he won – comprising every state in the region – all eight have seen an increase in their unemployment rates since his election. Below is a state-by-state glance at unemployment rates from the time of the ’08 elections compared to those rates today. Numbers come courtesy of the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

ILLINOIS
November 2008: 7.2 percent
August 2011: 9.9 percent

INDIANA
November 2008: 7.5 percent
August 2011: 8.7 percent

IOWA
November 2008: 4.8 percent
August 2011: 6.1 percent

MICHIGAN
November 2008: 9.9 percent
August 2011: 11.2 percent

MINNESOTA
November 2008: 6.3 percent
August 2011: 7.2 percent

OHIO
November 2008: 7.6 percent
August 2011: 9.1 percent

PENNSYLVANIA
November 2008: 6.2 percent
August 2011: 8.2 percent

WISCONSIN
November 2008: 5.9 percent
August 2011: 7.9 percent

One Reply to “Here’s Why The Midwest Has Tilted Against President Barack Obama”

  1. Unemployment is NOT the reason.  The reason is that Obama espoused one set of principals as a candidate then abandoned them once in office.  Both liberals and independents are smart enough to realize he could not fix unemployment overnight.  But his lack of leadership and right wing economics are what have turned us away from Mr. Change we Can Believe In. Past action is the best indicator of future behavior.  Candidate Obama is again talking tough but this is just a act. 

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