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Josh's Brief #3

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As Benjy Sarlin has been explaining for a few months, this has consistently been a problem for the Romney campaign. Just a week ago, Ohio Gov. John Kasich's top advisor -- one imagines maybe at the Romney campaign's prompting -- was reduced to explaining that job growth in Ohio is actually in spite of Obama's stewardship of the national economy, not because of it. But even with this special pleading, the overall Kasich message is totally at odds with the one Romney is pushing nationwide. Gov. Walker of Wisconsin, with similarly good job numbers in his state, also noted that the still-strong economy in several key swing states is going to be a problem for Romney.

The industrial midwest, as it often is, is turning out to be a critical battleground this year. And the key in states like Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin is that in each case there are very good economic arguments that a central driver is Obama industrial policy -- particularly the bailout of the auto industry.

We'll bring you more on this story through the day. But it's one of those not altogether frequent cases where an embarrassing leak story, which is just sort of comical in itself, opens up a much more substantive and important angle on the big story of the election.

Look forward to more coming through the day.