New Analysis Signals Economic Obstacles for Obama in Eight Battleground States

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According to a MoneyRates.com analysis of household financial conditions, voters in six of eight swing states may be inclined to favor Mitt Romney over President Obama in the upcoming presidential election.

Rightly or wrongly, people tend to hold the President responsible for how they’re doing financially. With that being the case, it looks like the economy might be an issue that does not favor Barack Obama in six of the eight most closely contested states.

Based on specific household financial indicators, President Obama may face an uphill battle on the issue of the economy in a majority of battleground states during this November’s presidential election, according to a new analysis by personal finance website MoneyRates.com.

The study examined how the unemployment rate, average salary and median credit score in eight states have fared relative to the rest of the country since Obama was elected in 2008.

Battleground states examined by MoneyRates.com were:

  • Colorado
  • Florida
  • Iowa
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • Ohio
  • Virginia
  • Wisconsin

The results indicate that six of the eight battleground states performed below the national average in two of three measures, suggesting that voters primarily concerned with pocketbook issues in these states may be inclined to favor Republican challenger Mitt Romney.

“Rightly or wrongly, people tend to hold the President responsible for how they’re doing financially,” said Richard Barrington, CFA, senior financial analyst for MoneyRates.com and author of the study. “With that being the case, it looks like the economy might be an issue that does not favor Barack Obama in six of the eight most closely contested states.”

Virginia was the only state to beat the national averages in all three measures, and Iowa was the only state to do so in two out of three. No state fared worse than the national averages in all three categories. Even Colorado, which had the worst shifts in unemployment and income among the eight states, relative to national averages, managed a narrow victory on credit scores.

From 2008 to 2012, the national figures for unemployment and median credit scores worsened, though inflation-adjusted average incomes rose about 2.5 percent. Each battleground state’s progress was measured against national averages to show its progress in the context of a slow economy. Some states may have fared better than the average, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that residents are pleased with their conditions.

While there are other important differences between President Obama and Mitt Romney that may impact the outcome of this year’s election, a heavy focus on the economy suggests that financial matters are likely to play a substantial role in voters’ determining who they will vote to become the next U.S. president.

“With the economy front-of-mind for many Americans, it will be interesting to see how household finance issues influence voters in the key battleground states,” Barrington said.

For the full analysis, please see Battleground economics: Do swing-state conditions favor Obama or Romney?

About MoneyRates.com
MoneyRates.com has been a leading source of information on bank rates, personal finance, savings accounts and investing since 1999. The site provides the highest rates on CDs, money market accounts and high-yield savings accounts. The Web Marketing Association awarded a Financial Services Standard of Excellence to MoneyRates.com in the 2011 WebAwards competition. MoneyRates.com is owned and operated by QuinStreet, Inc. (NASDAQ: QNST), one of the largest Internet marketing and media companies in the world. QuinStreet is committed to providing consumers and businesses with the information they need to find, research and select the products, services and brands that best meet their needs. The company is a leader in visitor-friendly marketing practices. For more information, please visit QuinStreet.com.

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