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The Battle for the Presidency ... of Ohio?

By Lauren Vicary - 2012-11-02T02:35:20Z

Photograph by Ty Wright/Bloomberg

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Northeastern Progress

There are signs of improvement in northeastern Ohio that buoy Obama supporters. The unemployment rate, which peaked at 13.3 percent, dropped in August to 7.9 percent. A new steel mill is being built outside Youngstown, shifts are being added at the General Motors plant and the growth of fracking is bringing jobs to the area. Only about a third of the jobs lost here, however, have been replaced. Many people left the labor force -- or simply left the region altogether. Youngstown's Mahoning County and neighboring Trumbull County have only 4 percent of the state's population, but, in 2008, this bastion of organized labor supplied more than 22 percent of Obama's margin of victory. To win Ohio, Democrats have to once again win big here.

Left: An employee uses a crane to move oil-tank tops in the fabrication area at Westerman Companies Inc. in Bremen, Ohio, on Sept. 4, 2012. Westerman manufactures oil tanks for the fracking industry.