George Packer visits Virginia:
[M]y strong sense is that Obama’s hold on the country clubbers, the miners, and the truck-stop owners was always tenuous at best, and it’s gone. What can he do? What everyone in southern Virginia talks aboutin tones of despairis jobs. The Republican plantax cuts, then more tax cuts, then some more tax cutsisn’t going to make a dent in the staggering unemployment numbers (unofficially, forty percent in Carroll County, according to Crowder). So Obama needs to find a way to put a jobs plan on the tablemoney to the states for infrastructure, sayand let the other party come to him or not. Then he’d have an argument he might be able to win, even here.
Weekly unemployment claims chart from Calculated Risk.