By: Brent Barnhart
on Monday, February 27, 2012
Election season is upon us. Candidate signs are popping up left and right. Our real-life and virtual inboxes are filling up with fliers and pleas. Vote for me. Don't vote for him. Primaries and caucuses have already happened across the nation, but the big day is just around the corner. Super Tuesday marks arguably the biggest election day prior to November, making and breaking certain candidates and providing a much clearer signal as to who the eventual nominee will be to go up against President Obama at the end of the year.
Regardless of your political affiliation or if you've already made your mind up in regard to this years election, it's incredibly important as a small business owner to be politically aware on both sides of the fence. This election is especially important considering the state of the nation, and furthermore, this rice will inevitably be a much closer race than that of 2008. Regardless, consider the following:
- According to Gallup, 47% of Americans approve the potential repeal of the President's recent healthcare legislation while 44% oppose such a repeal. This represents a near 50/50 split in opinion, perhaps shedding some light on the divided state of the nation.
- National unemployment sits around 9% for Mid-February. Despite this, little over a year ago this number was nearly two percent higher.
- Only 22% of Americans consider themselves “satisfied” with the United States' current economy and job situation.
- The Economy, unemployment and jobs make up over 60% of what the general public feels is “wrong” with the country today.
This particular election obviously has a lot at stake for the small business community. Such a community has been forced to ride a rollercoaster of uncertainty for far, far too long. Some say that things are getting better. Some say that things are worse. When looking at the numbers, it's hard to tell. Both parties have plenty to be held accountable for, leaving undecided voters with their hands full. Where do we go from here?
There are currently four prospective Republican candidates for President, and their rankings amongst each other and the current President seem to shift on a day-to-day basis. Needless to say, much has changed since we last discussed the race
and Rick Santorum
have been poised as the frontrunners, with the former losing some steam and latter coming out of obscurity after months under the radar. During the recent debate in Arizona, however, all of the candidates seemed intent on bringing Santorum down to earth. Criticisms included his initial support of No Child Left Behind and various earmarks, with Santorum seemingly unprepared for such pressure from his peers. He has certainly managed to stay in the press recently, however, with his arguably polarizing social views among the candidates as well as comments towards the President, referring to him as a “snob.”
Romney looks to capitalize on these perceived gaffes and seems destined to be a big winner on Super Tuesday. The race is far from over, however, with Santorum's popularity still surging and a dark horse in the form of Ron Paul
. Despite not formally winning a state, Paul is estimated to be second in delegates and claims to poll best against Obama directly as opposed to the other candidates. Paul's attempted to quell the notion that he cannot win during the most recent debate, adamant that his delegate-based strategy has legs. Newt Gingrich
, who has been very quiet since South Carolina, seems to be slipping out of the picture. During the most recent debate he seemed relatively tame towards his opponents, perhaps signaling his desire for a VP position in the midst of his drop in popularity.
On the other side of the fence, President Obama perhaps stated his most recent case for reelection through the State of the Union Address
. We will no doubt be hearing from the President sooner rather than later as his campaigning inevitably picks up in the coming months.
There has been debate as to whether or not it's too late for another Republican to enter the race
. Furthermore, the possibility of a brokered convention seems to grow as the race continues, although this also seems rather unlikely.
Super Tuesday and the upcoming 2012 Election are undoubtedly important events to both small business
owners and the American public at large. Where will you stand?