Santorum Is More Electable than He Looks

Unemployment has declined nationwide, but as Reuters reports, the change has been greatest in swing states:

Over the three years Obama has been in office, North Carolina and Florida also hit record high jobless rates, both reaching 11.4 percent two years ago. But in January 2012, North Carolina’s rate was the lowest since April 2009 and Florida’s the lowest since March 2009.

In Colorado, another swing state, the jobless rate climbed to a record 9 percent at the end of 2010. By January, it had fallen to 7.8 percent, the lowest since March 2009.

Swing state Iowa’s rate of 5.4 percent in January was the lowest since December 2008, as was Missouri’s 7.5 percent. New Hampshire’s January rate of 5.2 percent and Virginia’s 5.8 percent were the lowest since January 2009.

Ohio, a swing state that proved crucial to President George W. Bush’s win in 2004, registered its lowest rate since November 2008, 7.7 percent.

Pennsylvania lost jobs in February, but the overall improvement has been conducive to President Obama’s standing in the state; in the latest survey from Public Policy Polling (PPP), Pennsylvania voters are evenly divided on Obama’s performance, with 47 percent approval and disapproval. This isn’t great, but it’s a marked improvement from last year, when the president was underwater by as much as ten points.

That said, one thing worth noting about this Pennsylvania poll—and a recent one conducted by Quinnipiac University—is that Rick Santorum performs very well against Obama. He’s behind two points in the PPP poll, 46–48, and according to Quinnipiac, he’s nearly tied with 44 percent to Obama’s 45 percent. If electability is Santorum’s key question—and the place where Mitt Romney consistently beats him—then these polls are excellent fodder for the argument that Romney’s electability has its limits.

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