The path to that magic number runs through ten battleground states, including the big prizes of Ohio and Florida. Other deciding votes include Colorado, Iowa, New Hampshire, Wisconsin, Virginia and New Hampshire; all are toss-ups, says CBS. CBS also lists two states that appear to be leaning one way another: Obama is considered the favorite in Pennsylvania, while Romney has a good chance in North Carolina.
The divisiveness of the Democratic campaign and views. Associating Republicans with the most backward.
A year ago, the president demanded a $500 billion "sequester" of defense dollars as a penalty should Congress fail to cut a grand debt deal. Congress of course failed, and Mr. Obama's sequester is now imminent. The sequester slash comes on top of the $487 billion in defense cuts Mr. Obama had already ordered in January of this year, threatening the likes of Mansfield.
More than one million lost private-sector jobs, to get down to it, as estimated by groups ranging from the National Association of Manufacturers to the Aerospace Industries Association. Military jobs are on the block, but the bulk of the pink slips will come from private businesses—from giant defense companies on down to smaller businesses that are the economic mainstays of their communities. They'll come from states crucial for President Obama's re-election: Virginia, Florida, North Carolina, and more.
And they are starting now. Federal law requires employers to provide 60 days notice of big layoffs, and since sequester hits Jan. 2, pink slips must go out by Nov. 2.
The White House is clearly starting to worry. In a sign of panic, the Obama administration this week moved to hide the coming job losses. The Labor Department directed defense contractors to ignore the law and skip layoff notices, since sequester remains "uncertain." (Companies may well send them out anyway, since Labor can't protect them from lawsuits for failing to give due warning.)
And the president knows his ranks are getting twitchy. Congressional Democrats cracked this week, signing on to Republican legislation that gives the White House 30 days to detail the sequester cuts; they aren't willing to risk looking like White House pawns for secrecy. Republicans are ratcheting up the pressure, with ads targeting vulnerable Democrats in defense-heavy districts, town halls to highlight the sequester threat, and governors calling on Mr. Obama to step up and lead.