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Transition 2012

A guide to foreign policy and the 2012 U.S. presidential transition.

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Midday Update: Romney’s Econ Message Trouble in Swing States

by Newsteam Staff
July 2, 2012

Photo of the Day: President Barack Obama embraces a resident at the evacuation center at a YMCA in Colorado Springs, June 29, 2012 (Larry Downing/Courtesy Reuters). Photo of the Day: President Barack Obama embraces a resident at the evacuation center at a YMCA in Colorado Springs, June 29, 2012 (Larry Downing/Courtesy Reuters).

GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney is campaigning on the idea that President Barack Obama is mishandling the economy, but his message could be undercut in swing states such as Virginia where the economy has been picking up (RichmondTimes-Dispatch).

Virginia’s 5.6 percent unemployment rate is the ninth lowest in the nation, but Republican governor Bob McDonnell is left having to walk the tightrope of touting his state’s success without hurting Romney’s prospects there.

“If people want to see what a Republican will do in the White House when it comes to business and economic recovery, what they’ve got to do is look at what Republican governors are doing around the country,” McDonnell said, noting that seven of the ten states with the lowest unemployment rates have Republican governors. “What I’ve said is how much better we’d be able to do if we had a pro-business president like Mitt Romney.”

The still-stalled economy could hurt President Barack Obama with young voters (NYT), the same age group that helped sweep him into office in 2008, according to polls and analysts.

“The concern for Obama, and the opportunity for Romney, is in the 18- to 24-year-olds who don’t have the historical or direct connection to the campaign or the movement of four years ago,” John Della Volpe, director of polling at the Harvard Institute of Politics, tells the New York Times. “We’re also seeing that these younger members of this generation are beginning to show some more conservative traits. It doesn’t mean they are Republican. It means Republicans have an opportunity.”

Half of registered Latino voters identify themselves as political independents, but still tend to align with the Democratic party on major issues, according to Gallup polling. “Sixty percent of Hispanic immigrants identify as political independents, compared with 44 percent of first-generation Hispanic Americans and 43 percent of second-generation or higher Hispanics. All groups show much greater identification with the Democratic than the Republican Party, though each succeeding generation of Hispanics is more likely to identify as Republican than the prior one,” Gallup says.

But both candidates are failing to capture the enthusiasm (LAT) of the 21 million Latino voters with their advertising, analysts say, in spite of the Latino community’s 2008 support for Obama and the president’s recent Spanish-language ad blitz (Politico) focused on the administration’s new immigration policy.

– Gayle S. Putrich, Contributing Editor

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