Dems, GOP Play Blame Game Over Weak Economy

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With just three weeks before Election Day, the weak economy and high unemployment remain the dominant issues with voters, which is bad news for the Democrats.

Republicans are looking for big gains in Washington, D.C., and in the state governor's races.

It has been estimated that as many as 15 million Americans are out of work and many are still looking for a job.

"We just saw this week that 95,000 Americans lost their job and the unemployment rate remains at 9.6 percent," said former RNC chariman Ed Gillespie.

The jobless picture has leading economists drawing dire comparisons of the past.

"The job market, I think it's fair to say, is as tough as it's been since the 1930's great depression," said Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody's Analytics. "It's not in that league, but we have not seen anything like this since the 1930's."

The Labor Department said unemployment stayed the same between August and September at 9.6 percent. However, Gallup researchers said the true number is probably just over 10 percent.

"Once you start crossing into double-digits, that really starts getting people's attention and it just makes for a bad headline and a bad political situation for the Democrats," said Jeff Poor of the Business and Media Institute.

Leading Republicans said Americans should send a message to the White House.

"The pink slips shouldn't be going to workers here in Ohio," said Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio. "They should be going to the members of Barack Obama's economic team."

President Barack Obama has been on the campaign trail trying to fire up Democratic voters before the November election.

"Lets show Washington one more time, change doesn't come from the top," Obama said. "It comes from the bottom."

The Democrats are playing defense, blaming Republicans for the weak economy and disappearing jobs.

"Would have been even worse without the federal help that we've provided to states over the last 20 months -- help that the Republicans in Congress have consistently opposed," Obama said.

That argument doesn't seem to be gaining a lot of traction.

Polls show Republican candidates are doing well. They're even making gains in places that traditionally go to the Democrats - like the Northeast.

The outcome of the midterms could reshape the political map for years to come, especially if Republicans win key governor's races. That's because many of the elected governors will preside over the process known as redistricting, when congressional and legislative districts are redrawn based on the new census.

This means 2012 could be even more challenging than 2010 for Obama and his party.

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