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The economy lost 8.7 million jobs in the recession and its aftermath. Since then, it has regained 3.9 million.
The size of the hole, the slow climb out of it, and the broken politics of Washington have left a lot of the country weary. Even in an election driven by the economy, one Associated Press-GfK poll found that 60 percent of people said whoever wins the election will have slim-to-no impact on employment.
Romney and Obama are going after roughly 10 percent of the electorate that remains undecided in the presidential race.
Neither side contends the public is truly engaged in the race yet; August vacations and the Olympics have steered plenty of attention elsewhere. Yet the last month of summer will be busy, with Romney’s choice of a vice presidential candidate coming soon and the political conventions falling on either side of Labor Day.
Romney traveled from Las Vegas to Sun Valley, Idaho, for a fundraiser Friday night. He picked up the endorsement of actor Clint Eastwood, who told The Associated Press outside the Sun Valley Resort that he was backing the Republican because "I think the country needs a boost."
Romney is set to campaign in Indiana on Saturday, before spending two days in private at his New Hampshire summer home. He is expected to campaign in Iowa and Ohio in the following days before starting a bus tour targeting Virginia, North Carolina and Florida.
Obama, who celebrates his 51st birthday on Saturday, will spend much of the weekend at the presidential retreat at Camp David, Md. He will raise money in Connecticut on Monday before launching into a stretch of campaign travel in Colorado and Iowa, with fundraising in his hometown of Chicago tucked in between.
Associated Press writers Steve Peoples in Reno, Nev., and Christopher S. Rugaber, Paul Wiseman, Julie Pace and David Espo in Washington contributed to this report.
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