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The line got a loud chorus of laughs. But we citizens of Illinois are being deprived of the chance to grow weary of the presidential candidates' ads, because we're not a swing state. The Cubs have a better shot of winning the National League next season than Mitt Romney has of winning Illinois in November. OK, that may be a stretch. But Obama led Romney 55 percent to 29 percent in a Crain's/Ipsos Illinois poll in late August.
So yesterday, when the Romney campaign announced an ad blitz over the next few days in eight states, Illinois, alas, was among the forsaken. The lucky winners are the citizens of Ohio, Iowa, Florida, Virginia, North Carolina, Colorado, New Hampshire, and Nevada.
The Romney commercials are tailored to each state. "Here in Iowa, we're not better off under President Obama," a woman's voice-over says in that state's commercial. "Excessive government regulations are crushing small businesses and family farms. Thousands of jobs lost." Romney will repeal those regulations, foster innovation, and create over 150,000 new jobs for Iowans. The same voice assures Ohio voters they're not better off, because the president's "failed economic and trade policies with China have destroyed thousands of jobs." By standing up to China, Romney will create over 450,000 new jobs for Ohioans. Iowa has six electoral votes and Ohio 18, so it stands to reason that Ohio will get three times as many new jobs as Iowa.
Floridians are not better off, the ad for the Sunshine State says, because home values collapsed under Obama, causing the loss of home construction jobs. Florida is the biggest prize among the swing states with 29 electoral votes; Romney will drop 700,000 new jobs on it. North Carolinians are not better off because Obama's defense cuts will weaken national security, which "will threaten thousands of North Carolina jobs." Ergo: 350,000 jobs for North Carolina. Virginians will be blessed with two commercials, one about defense cuts and another about the president's "war on coal, gas, and oil" which is "crushing energy and manufacturing jobs." Therefore: 340,000 jobs for Virginia.
By Tuesday, after the ads have finished saturating the eight chosen states, the question in them may be: Are you better off than you were four days ago?