ABINGDON, Va. - The cheering stopped on Mitt Romney's campaign plane Friday morning.
The day before, aides had whistled and clapped when the Denver control tower commended the Republican presidential nominee's debate performance. It was a rare moment of exuberance for a campaign that had fallen behind President Barack Obama in a number of polls.
The euphoria ended after the morning report that the nation's unemployment rate had dropped to 7.8 percent, its lowest level in Obama's presidency.
Romney and his team sat stone-faced and quiet on their flight to Virginia's coal country, taking in the good news for the country that's bad news for their political prospects.
The former businessman has staked his candidacy on the notion that the economy needs a turnaround.