As GOP race reaches Fla., economy dominates - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

As GOP race reaches Fla., economy dominates

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MIAMI (AP) -- The situation is grim in a key campaign battleground state, with the Florida Republican presidential primary looming on Jan. 31 and President Barack Obama visiting the state Thursday to announce a new economic initiative.

Unemployment is hovering at 10 percent. Housing foreclosures are rampant. And nearly half the state's homeowners owe more on their mortgages than their properties are worth.

Ten months before the election, the environment in Florida presents a stark challenge for Obama and an opportunity for the eventual Republican nominee in the nation's largest state with a history of seesawing Republicans and Democrats in presidential contests.

Obama carried Florida in 2008 against Republican John McCain, 51 percent to 48 percent. For now, at least, Florida voters don't seem to be abandoning Obama in droves.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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