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Economy affects politicians of both parties

Republican presidential candidate, former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum speaks during a primary night party at the Steubenville High School Gymnasium on March 6, 2012 in Steubenville, Ohio.

Bob Moon: The exit polls coming out of Super Tuesday primaries show Republican voters are focused on the economy -- even as their candidates sparred over everything from contraception to higher education. In the key swing state of Ohio -- which Mitt Romney narrowly won -- more than half of voters rank the economy first. And that's in a state where the employment rate is better than the national average.

Marketplace's Mitchell Hartman has more.


Mitchell Hartman: Tea Party-backed Republicans swept the midterm elections two years ago by attacking President Obama’s deficit-funded stimulus spending.

Political analyst Stan Collender.

Stan Collender: When the economy is bad, people say it’s the budget’s fault, when inflation is roaring and soaring, it’s the budget’s fault and we’ve got to do something about the deficit. But when people are feeling better about their employment prospects and compensation prospects and home prices, concern about the deficit tends to go down.

Kevin Hassett at the American Enterprise Institute says the economy is an equal-opportunity employer for politicians of both parties. He says the mounting recovery will be front and center for voters.

Kevin Hassett: That will improve their sentiment and probably redound to the benefit of all incumbents in the fall—Republicans who are in office now and certainly President Obama.

There’s still a lot of economy to come before November. Gas prices are going up. Job growth has been solid, but it could stall again.

I’m Mitchell Hartman for Marketplace.

About the author

Mitchell Hartman is the senior reporter for Marketplace’s Entrepreneurship Desk and also covers employment.
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