At 14.3%, the state's percentage of mortgages in default was the highest in the nation in the first quarter of the year, according to IHS. Home prices won't reclaim their 2008 levels for almost a decade, the firm projects.
Florida is weighed down with an 8.8% jobless rate. Its construction industry, once employing nearly 700,000 workers, now counts barely more than 300,000.
The picture is far more sanguine in Virginia.
The state's 5.9% jobless rate is tied for 10th lowest in the country.
Virginia has been sustained by its heavy concentration of federal workers and the government's continued spending on defense contracting. The housing market has strengthened in the northern Virginia suburbs that ring Washington.
Still, incumbents always face the dual task of not only convincing swing-state voters that the outlook is brightening, both locally and nationally, but that their policies are responsible for it.