Obama's Re-Election Bid May Hinge on Housing Recovery

The Associated Press
Obama re-election
Obama re-election

WASHINGTON -- Barack Obama's road to re-election is lined with lots of boarded-up homes.

Though the high unemployment rate dominates talk in Washington, for many 2012 voters the housing crisis may well be a more powerful manifestation of a sick economy. And, in an unfortunate twist for Obama, the problem is at its worst in many of the battleground states that will be decisive in determining whether he gets another term.

Swing states Florida, Arizona, Nevada, Ohio and Michigan -- they all pulse red-hot on a foreclosure rate "heat map." And by themselves those five add up to 80 of the 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency.