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Republicans Tout Midwest Comeback

"It's the East Coast and the West Coast trying to impose a whole set of standards on us that end up putting us in economic difficulty," Kasich said. "I think it's really critical that we hang together."

States in the upper Midwest have higher-than-average unemployment, and few places have been hit harder than Michigan. Gov.-elect Rick Snyder (R) said his state has been in the middle of a recession or a depression for decades, rather than a few years. Now, he said, Republicans have the chance to spark a "Midwestern resurgence."

"We've been in a crisis so long we don't act like it's a crisis," Snyder said. He promised "to make it a crisis. Not a crisis of panic, but a crisis of determination."

Updated Nov. 19 at 9:55 a.m. to reflect Democrats keeping a majority in the Iowa state Senate.

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