Were you better off four years ago, under Bush? Really? This month, four years ago, the stock market had just crashed after Wall Street insiders cashed out their crooked winnings - forcing a $768 billion federal bailout. The loss to ordinary investors caused many retied, or planning retirement, to lose half their savings and more. Under four years of Obama many of them report they've been able to recoup the loss.
George Bush Jr., a president so disliked that he was not invited to, or even mentioned at, his own party's convention, left Obama a $10 trillion debt. Obama also inherited a Republican congress who oppose everything he does while waging the most vile hate and disinformation campaign ever seen in congress. Despite this, Obama kept the auto industry alive, kept the economy from going under and the stock market rising, while facing more death threats than any president in history.
Romney is the Bush you haven't met yet. Ask the Massachusetts voters who elected him governor; they don't want him anywhere near the White House; they're 20+ points for Obama. You can't believe a word he says but that's no problem because you already know what he's going to do - the same thing Reagan and the Bushes did. He will deregulate (erase the laws that protect small guys from the financial games of big institutions), bash unions and organized labor. He will give tax breaks to the wealthy, which has been proven to have no effect on creating jobs. (finance.yahoo.com/news/tax-cuts-rich-dont-spur-151649273.html)
He will slash federal spending: food stamps, Medicaid and unemployment; social security, and Medicare if he can. Regions like this, who's economy depends on such money, will be devastated. As far as balancing the budget: I was there in 1989 when the U.S. (which up till Reagan was the world's greatest creditor nation) became the world's largest debtor nation. All it took was nine years of Reaganomics which almost quadrupled the deficit. This has been the Republicans economic plan ever since, give to the rich and borrow to make it up.
Why do the red states (the poorer, less educated, states with everything to lose) vote for these guys? I don't know, but the Republicans' commitment to them, in my opinion, can be summarized as follows. Liberal: "Why do you Republicans mislead these people who can least afford it, just so you, who have so much, can have a little more?" Conservative: "They don't have to vote for us, there's more of them. If they're stupid enough to do so, they deserve all the poverty they get."