How Obama Is Leveraging the Power of the Incumbency in Swing States

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President Obama has a soft spot for the state of Ohio, a crucial swing state that every Republican President has won en route to the White House. And as Jeffrey Markon and Alice Crites wrote recently in the Washington Post, Obama has used the powers of the incumbency to a startlingly effective degree in his effort to keep that state blue. 

Markon and Crites found that Ohio has been paid a visit by either Obama or Vice President Joe Biden on average once every three weeks since they took office. In that time, their Administration has showered the state with federal money: $125 million in clean-energy manufacturing-tax credits, 2,726 loans through the Small Business Administration (500 more than were given to Florida), the fourth highest total of Race to the Top grants of any state and $400 million for a passenger train connecting Cleveland and Cincinnati.

On Sept. 13, Mitt Romney released an ad criticizing the President for presiding over a 25% increase in Chinese manufacturing while the U.S. shed 500,000 manufacturing jobs. Four days later, Obama announced in Ohio that he had filed a new trade case against China at the World Trade Organization focusing on auto parts, many of which are made in the Buckeye State.

But Ohio isn’t the only swing state that’s getting favorable treatment. In August, Obama announced in Iowa that the USDA would purchase $170 million worth of meat and fish from drought-stricken agricultural states. Two weeks ago, Ray LaHood, the U.S. Transportation Secretary, announced that Virginia would receive $74.8 million for a high-speed-rail project. The week before, the Federal Highway Administration reallocated $52 million to the Virginia Department of Transportation to repave Virginia’s major highways. And just last week, Obama declared Colorado’s Chimney Rock a national monument, a popular decision among environmentalists and that swing state’s tourist industry.

Boston University professors Douglas L. Kriner and Andrew Reeves have studied presidential elections from 1988 to 2008 and found that “voters reward incumbent Presidents (or their party’s nominee) for increased federal spending in their communities” and that the relationship between federal grants and votes are more than twice as strong in counties of swing states as in noncompetitive states.

That’s an advantage no challenger can match.

58 comments
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JohnYuEsq
JohnYuEsq

The GOP legislation awaiting Romney's signature isn't simply a return to the era of George W. Bush. From abortion rights and gun laws to tax giveaways and energy policy, it's far worse. Measures that have already sailed through the Republican House would roll back clean-air protections, gut both Medicare and Medicaid, lavish trillions in tax cuts on billionaires while raising taxes on the poor, and slash everything from college aid to veteran benefits. In fact, the tenets of Ryan Republicanism are so extreme that they even offend the pioneers of trickle-down economics. "Ryan takes out the ax and goes after programs for the poor – which is the last thing you ought to cut," says David Stockman, who served as Ronald Reagan's budget director. "It's ideology run amok."

Greed and Debt: The True Story of Mitt Romney and Bain Capital

Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/po...

JohnYuEsq
JohnYuEsq

Persnickety Romney FAILED to learn the precept of "noblesse oblige" while DRAFT DODGING in France. Every REALISTIC Repub concedes DEFEAT.  

 

Only President Obama and the DEMOCRATS PROTECT the MIDDLE CLASS.  

 

Get the VOTE OUT! GO BIG! VOTE THE DEMOCRATIC TICKET!

Phaerisee
Phaerisee

As a former Republican, I can tell you that they are hemorrhaging

traditional voters.   They have begun to resemble the pharisees in the Bible.  The people who act righteous on the outside, but it is all appearance and not real.  Pure and clean on the outside, full of corruption on the inside

http://www.alecexposed.org/wik...

Private Pyle
Private Pyle

As a former Republican, I can tell you that they are hemorrhaging

traditional voters.   They have begun to resemble the pharisees in the Bible.  The people who act righteous on the outside, but it is all appearance and not real.  Pure and clean on the outside, full of corruption on the inside

http://www.alecexposed.org/wik...

rokinsteve
rokinsteve

What a patriot that Mitt Romney is with investments in Iran and China.  That's what

his 2011 income tax return says.  

Benevolent Lawyer
Benevolent Lawyer

I have one last Romney joke for today--

Mitt Romney just released a new campaign ad about the economy, featuring out-of-work Americans. It gets weird at the end, when he says, "I'm Mitt Romney, and I fired all these people." HA... Nutsss...

PerryWhite1
PerryWhite1

I've said it before and I'll say it again: I have exactly the same regard for Mitt Romney that Mitt Romney has for me. (Hint: I had a college loan 30 years ago, so I'm counted as one of his 47%.)

Palladia
Palladia

I'm with you.  I am big into reciprocity, and I just can't feel any back-and-forth with ol' Mitt,

Benevolent Lawyer
Benevolent Lawyer

Mitt Romney is claiming he's going to create 12 million jobs in his first term. But

he hasn't said yet if he'll create them in China or India. --Late night comedy

bwahahahahaha

La_Randy
La_Randy

Too bad that 12 million jobs are slated to be created in the next 4 years if no new policies are enacted.

Mitt's claim means nothing. Low bar to be sure.

ixlr82
ixlr82

Where is the press on the Libyan cover up????

SAJ2995
SAJ2995

The left=wing media will never print or broadcast anything negative about Obama.  By doing so would undermine the millions of dollars they donated to his campaign.

Byst1nder
Byst1nder

They're there reporting and broadcasting a high speed chase resulting to the suicide of that person, on live TV!

Dan Bruce
Dan Bruce

They are still looking for WMDs and mushroom clouds in Iraq.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

 Where is the press on Romney's missing UBS forms?

Godzilla1960
Godzilla1960

Republicans who gave George W. Bush a pass on every cover up, misstep, and outright lie in Iraq have suddenly awakened to find themselves watchdogs of foreign policy now that a Democrat is Commander-in-Chief.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®©
ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®©

This Ohioan is voting for Jill Stein.   I did vote for President Obama in both the primary and general elections of 2008.  I can not do so again, and retain any self respect.

I will vote for Sherrod Brown, D, for Senate, and Mary Jo Kilroy, D, for House. Unlike President Drone Strike they are not for cutting Social Security, or blowing up foreigners for corporate profits.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

~

 

sacredh
sacredh

I took an online quiz for voter identification a couple of months ago. I matched up with Jill Stein 92% of the time and Obama 84% of the time. I think it was linked through CNN.

Palladia
Palladia

Okay, I'll bite.  Who's Jill Stein?

sacredh
sacredh

Jill has views that we wish Obama did. Of course if Obama held those views, he'd be as electable as....Jill Stein.

sacredh
sacredh

Jill Stein is the Green Party candidate for President that actually has the views that republicans lie about and say that Obama does.

Ivy_B
Ivy_B

I had the same outcome on the quiz. However, Jill Stein is not appointing any justices to the Supreme Court and I wouldn't consider voting for her in this election.

Until the Supreme Court is safely out of the radical's hands, I won't vote for anyone except a Democrat. Another right wing justice on the Supreme Court and the country will be trashed beyond my lifetime. I would have no self respect if I had any part of that.

Down ticket, I would have no problem voting Green and I think that's what should be pushed. Would be happy to vote for a good Green instead of my current New Democrat Representative, for example.

sacredh
sacredh

I feel pretty much the same. I respect those that vote their conscience, but I personally don't believe in protest votes or voting for someone that doesn't have a chance just to prove your point. The SC is the prize that I keep my eye on. Period. Everything else is just gravy.

.

Goode in Virginia and Gary Johnson in Ohio are like stepping out of your car and finding a $ 50 bill in my book. You don't expect it, but it sure is nice to get something unexpected.

.

It probably sounds off the wall, but I don't like a candidate to agree with my positions on everything because I know I'm a partisan hack. I want a candidate that is more fair and balanced than I am.

Conversationalist
Conversationalist

Oh, Presidents have been taking advantage of their incumbency since forever.  As have nearly all members of Congress.  This is nothing new.  George W. certainly did, as did Clinton, George H.W., Reagan... etc..

Mary Waterton
Mary Waterton

Obama's main advantage as an incumbent are the deficits. It is truly amazing how quickly people learned to love TRILLION dollar deficit "stimulus" spending and how quickly they become dependent upon it. That spells doom for America. And when will calamity occur? At $20 TRILLION? At $25 TRILLION? Only God knows. Ancient Rome did the same things we are doing: tolerance of gross personal immorality which led to acceptance of gross public immorality. Hire the government to do your stealing for you. From there it was onward to large public debt and debasement of currency to pay for the debt. Just like America is doing. But it won't last much longer. Common sense should tell you so.

SmilingSmartBlonde
SmilingSmartBlonde

Three Trillion Dollar War

The True Cost of the Iraq and Afghanistan Conflicts..."Veterans Disability Costs exceed Stiglitz-Bilmes estimatesFiled Under Veterans 

The latest disability benefits costs are even higher than we predicted.   And this will grow higher, because more than 700,000 new veterans have already claimed, with an average of 8 conditions per claim.

http://money.cnn.com/2012/04/2...

SmilingSmartBlonde
SmilingSmartBlonde

The Three Trillion Dollar War: The True Cost of the Iraq Conflict by Joseph E. Stiglitz and Linda J. Bilmes

Benevolent Lawyer
Benevolent Lawyer

No matter what you write about Obama, there is no reason for voting for Romney. At least you have not provided any, and Romney's record SMELLS. I have provided you with some information on Romney below.

Romney was an incompetent and disconnected governor! He cannot hold a candle to Obama in ANYWAY. Obama is much much better than Romney can EVER hope to be.

Note that Romney failed to reduce ANY of the myriad taxes Massachusetts

imposes on its citizens, even though the previous two Republican

governors, William Weld and Paul Cellucci, were both able to reduce tax

rates. 

As Governor Cellucci confirmed, Romney “did not have any broad-based tax

cuts in his four years as Governor.”  Indeed, while Romney raised over a

hundred different fees and taxes, the two previous Republican governors signed

more than 40 tax reduction bills, even though Democrats controlled the

legislature.

Benevolent Lawyer
Benevolent Lawyer

  Waterton Mary,

The Cato Institute reported that in his first year as Governor,

Romney“proposed 140 [million] dollars in business tax hikes through the

closing of ‘loopholes’ in the tax code.” As Nicholas explains, “Romney’s

tax policies were not helpful for many small businesses…when Romney

took manyIRS subchapter S businesses in Massachusetts and almost doubled

their tax rates, it was an important disincentive to investment, growth

and job creation.”

 

Romney didn’t “turn a 3 billion dollar deficit into a nearly $1 billion

surplus.” Rather, the deficit was 1.3 billion according to Factcheck.org and he balanced the budget with mostly tax and fee increases with very little spending cuts.

According to the Massachusetts Taxpayer Foundation, Romney “proposed

four budgets while in office…each budget increased spending over the

previous year.”

As Club for Growth echoed, Romney’s last budget “was a whopping 10.12% larger than the preceding fiscal year.”

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

 Rome also had a rich class that squeezed the middle and poor more and more until they had to rely on barbarians to do their fighting for them. The rich, corrupt citizens of Rome would have felt right at home in today"s Republican party.

dallasgirl1900
dallasgirl1900

Obama and dems have spent 16 trillion dollars in less than 4 years.  Check history and you'll see from the beginning of our country up to Obama's election spent this much money.   Obama has an agenda to bankrupt us.  We will be BK very shortly.  Why has the government ordered millions of rounds of hollow bullets for social security department?  We are in trouble.  Senate hasn't passed a budget for 4 years.  Obama says Senate amp; House don't get a long so he passes laws BY EXECUTIVE ORDER...he's a dictator.  Check history out and all of Obama's friends...Reverand Wright, Bill Ayers, the guy in jail who helped him buy his milllion dollar home a real estate developer, how about his communist friend Van Jones...you are who you surround yourself with. (these are just a few)

SmilingSmartBlonde
SmilingSmartBlonde

Dallasgirl1900

I beg to differ with you. Please read much more about this and you will discover more information:

Here is an excerpt from

Five Painful Lessons from the Iraq War

4.  The economic costs of war are extremely high, and unpredictable.  The war in Iraq set off a chain of  events that has had far-reaching consequences.  The US invasion was one of  the factors that led to pressure on oil prices, which increased from $25 barrel in 2003 to $140 in 2008.  These oil prices were one of the factors that contributed to the Federal Reserve’s policy of injecting liquidity and lowering interest rates; which in turn played a role in the housing bubble and rising consumer debt.   Meanwhile, the US decision to finance the war entirely through borrowing added $2 trillion to the national debt,  at a time when the US could have been paying for the war directly.  It is impossible to determine how much these policies contributed to the financial crisis, it is likely they worsened the situation considerably.

La_Randy
La_Randy

You win the prize for misinformation.

Neuroseed
Neuroseed

stay in Texas...at least until you quit watching Faux news.  Do you wonder how I knew your favorite news source?

Benevolent Lawyer
Benevolent Lawyer

Waterton Mary,

The Cato Institute reported that in his first year as Governor, Romney“proposed 140 [million] dollars in business tax hikes through the closing of ‘loopholes’ in the tax code.” As Nicholas explains, “Romney’s tax policies were not helpful for many small businesses…when Romney took manyIRS subchapter S businesses in Massachusetts and almost doubled their tax rates, it was an important disincentive to investment, growth and job creation.”

 

Romney didn’t “turn a 3 billion dollar deficit into a nearly $1 billion

surplus.” Rather, the deficit was 1.3 billion according to Factcheck.org and he balanced the budget with mostly tax and fee increases with very little spending cuts.

According to the Massachusetts Taxpayer Foundation, Romney “proposed four budgets while in office…each budget increased spending over the previous year.”

As Club for Growth echoed, Romney’s last budget “was a whopping 10.12% larger than the preceding fiscal year.”

Robert Cassis
Robert Cassis

This year for the first time we owe more than the entire national GDP.  At least if you have your home mortgage you have an asset that is worth something.  This debt is more like a credit card and every year we are adding about $4500 per person in the US.  

For all his blame Bush rhetoric Obama has added more to the deficit in 4 years 5.3 trillion than Bush in 8  (4.7).   Our credit rating is declining.  One candidate wants to increase spending.  And he has proved he is "good" at it.

AfGuyReturns
AfGuyReturns

Widespread economic and political corruption among its aristocracy... and one that allowed others to fight and die in wars while they stayed behind and enjoyed life because of their "class" in society....

"Staff Sgt. Jason Rivera, 26, a Marine recruiter in Pittsburgh, went to the home of a high school student who had expressed interest in joining the Marine Reserve to talk to his parents.

It was a large home in a well-to-do suburb north of the city. Two American flags adorned the yard. The prospect's mom greeted him wearing an American flag T-shirt.

"I want you to know we support you," she gushed.

Rivera soon reached the limits of her support.

"Military service isn't for our son. It isn't for our kind of people,"...

Yeah, I can see those similarities... just not in the group you think I should be looking at.

Look in the mirror... I'd ask for the "balance" in your "morality" account but I'm afraid your "tribe" is essentially bankrupt.

Palladia
Palladia

Military service wasn't for any of the Romney sons.  It isn't for "their kind of people," either.

snowleopard (cat folk gallery)
snowleopard (cat folk gallery)

So Obama has showered the state (according to the article) with Federal money?

One time we called such spending graft and bribery; and charged people for such crimes.

Palladia
Palladia

It is graft and bribery if someone from Ohio attempted to influence the vote of someone in office.  If someone in office returns some tax money, that's just the way it's supposed to be. 

Godzilla1960
Godzilla1960

Never. You obviously know little of the history of American politics. This is mild.

theoldkathy
theoldkathy

Noticed in Gallup tracking poll today that "Americans' preference shifts toward one-party government."   This is good news for Obama, at the moment, and may account for some down-ballot shifts toward the Democrats.

The Party of No may have talked themselves out of jobs.  Let's get stuff done.

nflfoghorn
nflfoghorn

"...[T}he Federal Highway Administration reallocated $52 to the Virginia Department of Transportation to repave Virginia’s major highways."

What a bargain!

Palladia
Palladia

Should we send out a search party for a batch of missing zeros?

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

And he's going to win that state for giving them that square inch of pavement!