Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Gov. John Kasich's economic optimism could lift President Barack Obama in Ohio: Analysis

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- President Barack Obama won Ohio four years ago with the help of then-Gov. Ted Strickland, a Democrat who now plays a high-profile role in his re-election campaign.

But his bid to repeat this year could receive an assist from a more unlikely source: Republican Gov. John Kasich.

Kasich has been traveling across the state for months singing optimistic tunes about Ohio's economic recovery and predicting even better days ahead. He is not on the ballot this fall, but he is trying to repair a political reputation badly bruised last fall when voters repealed a collective bargaining law that overshadowed his administration's first year.

Obama might well add his voice to the chorus of those cheering Ohio's improved fortunes this afternoon when he speaks at Lorain County Community College. The speech will be Obama's second at the Elyria campus since taking office, but one he will deliver amid brighter prospects. When he last visited, the state's unemployment rate topped 10 percent.

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