Steve Hayes in today's Wall Street Journal:
Two years ago this week, with a little more than two weeks left in the 2008 presidential contest, Barack Obama delivered a speech on the economy in Toledo, Ohio. His advisers touted the speech—on the most important issue of the race, in the state that decided the 2004 presidential contest—as the beginning of his closing argument.
One month after the collapse of Lehman Brothers froze the global economy and seized the campaign, Mr. Obama laid out his "emergency rescue plan." "It's a plan that begins with one word that's on everyone's mind, and it's spelled J-O-B-S."
Within a month of the inauguration, the Democratic majorities in Congress had passed Mr. Obama's stimulus plan with very few changes. Today, unemployment is 9.6%. And the Ohio voters that preferred Mr. Obama to John McCain by a margin of 51%-47% are not happy. A recent CBS poll of Ohio voters found that 38% approve of Mr. Obama's handling of the economy, with 55% disapproving. Thirty-two percent say Mr. Obama has made progress in improving the economy, but 61% say he has not.
In Ohio these numbers will likely translate into GOP victories in next month's election. In this supposedly "anti-Washington" year, voters there are poised to elect two former Republican congressmen, with nearly 40 years in the nation's capital between them, to statewide office. Former Rep. Rob Portman, who also served as U.S. Trade Representative and budget director in the Bush administration, is leading Ohio Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher by some 15 points in the race for the state's open Senate seat. John Kasich, who served in the House leadership for many of his 18 years in Congress, has maintained a small lead over incumbent Gov. Ted Strickland. Three congressional seats currently held by Democrats are expected to flip to Republicans, and two others are toss-ups.
Read it here.