With President Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney running neck and neck, and several key House and Senate races much closer than expected, turnout tomorrow will be the key to who lives in the White House for the next four years and who controls Congress.
With the “undecided” portion of the electorate down to less than an estimated 2%, polling late last week showed Romney and Obama each with about 49% of the vote, with last-minute campaigning in full swing after a two-day respite due to Hurricane Sandy.
A big issue at this point for most voters is the economy – jobs, taxes, growth and regulations. Last week Agri-Pulse reported on its tracking of agriculture/agribusiness political action committee (PAC) contributions, and the bottom line is ag favored Republicans in this election by 2-1, shifting away from a traditional even split between Republicans and Democrats.
Total contributions from producer group PACs as well as those controlled by supply groups and processor trade associations was $15.3 million to all federal candidates in the last year. The business community seeks greater certainty from Washington, DC on prospective regulations and a plan to avoid the so-called “fiscal cliff,” jump starting the economy out of its currently sluggish “recovery.”
At this point in 2008, Obama enjoyed a 14-point lead against Sen. John McCain. While it appears the GOP will retain control of the House, picking up a seat or two, key Senate races in Wisconsin, Massachusetts, Montana, Missouri, Nevada, North Dakota and Virginia are all too close to call, with none of the front-runners enjoying more than a four-point lead just four days before the general election.
Personal issues center on broadening the employment base and individual tax rates, both in play as Congress prepares to return to Washington after the election for a lame duck session.