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Whatever the case, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, president of the conservative American Action Forum and former policy adviser to John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign, said if the numbers from the Labor Department come in as expected, he doesn’t see much political peril in them or any of the other reports that are due.

“If we get a seriously negative jobs report that’s a hand grenade, but there aren’t a lot of numbers out there that are super dramatic,” he said.

Mr. Holtz-Eakin said Mr. Romney needs to use the debates to try to get the president to take ownership of the economy – but said Mr. Obama and his operation have done a good job of brushing off political damage from bad monthly jobs reports.

Mr. Malone agreed, saying polls suggest that Mr. Obama is winning the messaging wars on the jobs front.

“I think that his narrative that ‘We are not there yet, but we are headed in the right direction,’ and 30 straight months of private-sector job growth has beaten the Romney counternarrative, which is 43 months of 8 percent unemployment or higher,” he said.

Seth McLaughlin reported from Washington.