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With Election Day less than a week away, 56 percent of respondents to this week’s RBJ Daily Report Snap Poll say they would vote for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
The results show a sharp divide by political affiliation. Among Democrats, 88 percent favor Democratic President Barack Obama. Among Republicans, 87 percent favor Romney.
Those who identified themselves as independent or affiliated with a third party favored Romney, 53 percent to 47 percent.
Readers’ views were virtually unchanged from late April, when Snap Poll participants favored Romney, 55 percent to 45 percent. In late October 2008, Snap Poll respondents were split 50-50 between Obama and GOP nominee John McCain. A week later, Obama defeated McCain, winning 52.9 percent of the popular vote nationwide to 45.7 percent for McCain.
Roughly half of respondents in this week’s poll identified the economy and jobs as the most important issue in deciding whom to vote for. Debt and deficits were a distant second, at 15 percent.
Some 1,420 readers participated in the poll, which was conducted Oct. 29 and 30.
If the 2012 presidential election were held today, whom would you vote for?
Mitt Romney: 56%
Barack Obama: 44%
Mitt Romney: 87%
Barack Obama: 13%
Barack Obama: 88%
Mitt Romney: 12%
Non-affiliated and third-party only:
Mitt Romney: 53%
Barack Obama: 47%
In deciding which presidential candidate to vote for in this year’s election, which single issue is most important to you?
Economy and jobs: 49%
Debt and deficits: 15%
Personal character of candidates: 9%
Health care: 4%
Social issues such as abortion, gay marriage: 4%
Experience of candidates: 3%
Ethics in government: 3%
Income inequality: 2%
Foreign policy: 2%
Social Security and Medicare: 1%
Global warming and other environmental issues: 1%
Financial system reform: 1%
What is your political affiliation?
Investment in human and physical capital is what we need long-term. Investing in infrastructure rebuilding, education, research and alternative fuels will lead to long-term stability. President Obama's plan will take us in this direction.
It is almost unbelievable that one man (and his administration) could do so much economic damage in four years. We got “Change” all right, but were left without “Hope.”
—Bob Worden, Penn Yan
For those of you voting for Romney, I wonder which candidate you are voting for, the candidate who lied to the conservative base to get the Tea Party vote or the candidate who more recently lied to the moderate base to secure their endorsement? You can't have it both ways.
—Greg Reynolds, East Rochester
The choice is simple—capitalism or communism.
Recovery from financial crises has historically been slow. I'm concerned that income inequality is depressing demand and that a too-rapid attempt to cut federal spending at a time when households are still holding down spending to cut their debt could plunge us back into recession.
Obama predicted four years ago that his would be a one-term presidency if he didn't cut the deficit and restore the economy to health. I hope his prediction comes true!
—George Thomas, Ogden
Romney can't be trusted as he changes his position depending whom he is talking to and whom he wants support from. He has no position because he keeps changing it. I feel he will support rich people and special interest groups like lobbyists. He has been radically conservative like Paul Ryan and now has come to the middle to get elected. I basically can't trust him to do things that will help the country or me.
If I were in a swing state, I would vote for Obama again. Since I'm not, I feel privileged to vote for Jill Stein (Green Party) or Gary Johnson (Libertarian) before either of them.
What do you suppose is in Gov. Romney's income tax returns that makes him so resistant to releasing them, even after being urged by other Republicans to do so?
—Tom Gillett, NYSUT
How about this for a platform? Let’s take what Obama has done and run with it rather than destroy what has already been accomplished. We spend too much time trying to undo what has been done rather than building on it.
I'd like to help Barack Obama be a one-term president.
—Mike Gooding, Good Vibrations
The presidency of the United States is the most demanding executive position in the world. Four years ago we elected someone with no executive experience and no political leadership experience. We got the kind of results any executive recruiter would have expected. When an executive fails, he must be replaced. That's what happens in business and should happen in politics, as well.
—Arnold L. Gray, CPA, Gray Certified Public Accounting P.C.
You know there are other candidates running besides Romney and Obama, right?
—Matthew D. Wilson
Debt and deficits, highs and lows in the economy, etc., will come and go, but Supreme Court decisions are with us for generations; witness the Dred Scott, "separate but equal" and Citizens United cases. The next president is likely to get at least two appointments, which have the potential to tilt the court for a long time to come.
If we don't put our house in order on every economic front starting with the election and immediately to job creation and then deficit and debt reduction, then widespread loss of wealth in this country will be devastating to all classes.
—John Nolan, Rochester
I have found over time that even the most personally fiscal responsible people do not feel the government should do the same. We can’t borrow 60 percent of what they spend. I know I couldn’t do that as a business owner! But that is what our government does every day. It seems they have one social issue that may be very near and dear to their heart. Which is the way they vote? The socially liberal thinking is what has gotten us even deeper into dept. The problem with this election, different from others, is that we as a country are on a fiscal cliff and ready to fall off. If we do, we will not be able to recover. This administration has no clue what they are doing as far as getting our spending and debt under control. Printing money and give out entitlements is not the answer. Taxing just the rich will not do anything but cut job opportunities. The money that they are taxed will go to the government, who hasn’t got a clue, and not into business growth and job opportunities that the rich create. So my question, do you want a lawyer with no business experience given four more years to do what he has been doing, printing money and driving up the debt? Or a businessman with the ability to produce jobs and manage money? It is not a sin in this country to have money, especially if you have earned it. As a president, I like the idea that Gov. Romney has made millions. He is exactly what this country needs before it is too late.
—Dan Morgan, Aaron Tool & Mold Inc.
An end to the socialist agenda into the governance of our great country is in order. This administration has been a cancer on many levels to our society. The first steps backward on race relations since the ‘60s, the most people depending on a government handout than ever before and no vision "forward.” Review the facts, not the rhetoric. Benghazi-American ambassador assassinated: lies, lies and more lies from Obama, Clinton, Rice, Panetta and Holder. Fast and Furious: lies, lies and more lies. Americans killed in the service of this country while Obama watches. This is your government. Distorting the truth and outright lies. This is sixth-grade mentality of "if I keep telling the same story, I'll will it to be true." This is the president of the United States of America, for God's sake! Vet his history, vet his colleagues, vet his wife who is disbarred from practicing law in Chicago. David Axelrod, Jarret, Hillary's aide, all socialists and Islamism sympathizers. Time to drain the swamp of scum! If there wasn't a three-way between the media, unions and Obama, you might have a chance to learn the truth. Give this country back to the working, taxpaying citizens and take it away from the undeserving freeloaders, illegals, and overreaching government programs. Take away Obama’s medication and see the effects in the first debate. Classic Prozac syndrome. Here's a scary thought, we're one bout of depression from Biden being president! What if this was Bush's administration? Clearly Obama wasn't prepared for the "mess he inherited." I'm confident Romney and Ryan are ready for the mess they're going to inherit. Obama wasn't ready before, it's worse now, and he's not ready now, never was. Don't wait for the media to give up the facts, use theIinternet and amaze yourself on what these clowns are getting away with.
During Romney's tenure as governor of Massachusetts, the state was 47th of the 50 states in jobs creation. Additionally, according to the Baltimore Sun, his boast of the declining unemployment rate in the state was true but only because 200,000 residents left the state to seek work elsewhere. Romney had an approval rating of only 35 percent as governor—not exactly a ringing endorsement. He may talk about being able to stimulate the economy, but he has no record to provide evidence that he knows how.
Barack Obama saved GM and Chrysler; made our foreign policy more multilateral; took on health care (though that needs tweaks of various kinds); and will likely have the opportunity to nominate a new U.S. Supreme Court judge or two who will be moderate, rather than conservative. Does the president need to do a better job relating to business and regulation? Sure. Does he need to agree to a grand bargain on the debt and deficit? Sure. Maybe we will also have a Congress that wants to practice the art of statecraft and get important work done by working through issues. One can hope.
—Carolyn Phinney Rankin, president, Phinney Rankin Inc.
No matter who is elected, they will benefit from the economic foundation laid out by President Obama. Just as Obama had to deal with the multitude of serious economic issues that George W. Bush laid at his doorstep, the president over the next four years will be the beneficiary of sound and permanent economic policy which has guided Obama. This will free the president to work on the issues of federal debt, tax reform and Medicare/Medicaid. I will be in Ohio next week trying to make certain that Obama, not Romney, will be able to take credit for the economic upturn which will occur in the next four years.
—Michael L. Harf
A good leader knows his strengths and limitations. He then will be able to compensate for those attributes to take care of the job at hand. The current administration just looks to blame others for their failures.
For some reason I find it repugnant to vote for any candidate supported by one of the architects of the Bush presidency, Karl Rove, (Crossroads) and funded by many of the same people that outsourced jobs, deny health care as a right, destroy unions, destroyed our economy, let our infrastructure crumble, and take most of the wealth created by workers for themselves.
—Jim Bertolone, Rochester AFL-CIO
My single most important issue is bipartisanship within Congress because none of these very important issues are going to be settled without it. President Obama promised to reconcile partisan politics in Washington. He did not and I believe that he did not even try. If anything Congress is worse now than it was four years ago. If a working Congress is going to happen there is no reason to think it will happen on an Obama watch.
Need a change. Mitt is the better of the two choices. Where is Ross Perot when you need him?
Simply stated, President Obama has FAILED to perform on every issue listed in this poll, most important economy/job growth. He has failed to answer the question that left four Americans dead and has further failed to answer any questions relating to our two border guards killed due to "Fast & Furious." He has sold out this country with what I believe is not just redistribution on a class level but I believe on a world level as evidenced by his lack of policy on the debt. Time for him to go based on his lack of leadership, the economy, healthcare, lack of support for small businesses, his arrogance, military cuts, too many cover-ups and enough lies. GO ROMNEY!
—David Topian, Westminster Real Estate Advisors
Uncontrolled and unnecessary immigration, both illegal and legal, is the biggest long-term issue to me. However, I realize both candidates are pandering, and thus are unreliable and weak on that issue. That being said, the economy and our nation's diminishing status in the world are matters that need attention, and Obama has not proven up to the task. Romney cannot be worse.
Is Romney ideal? Well, my candidate didn't make the ballot, but he's a FAR better option at this juncture. It surprises me that President Obama is considered a viable option. His spending is unprecedented and with levels of spending like this we ought to demand a much higher return on the investment (like sub 4 percent unemployment). We cannot sustain his spendthrift ways—I shudder to imagine the repercussions of allowing another four years of this level of spending.
—Josh Pies, executive producer, C47 Film Associates
We have to remember where George Bush took the country in 2008, and how far we've come since then. Plus, as someone with a pre-existing condition, Obamacare is of the utmost importance to me personally, and to millions of others. So when it comes to Obama vs. Romney, I'll take more of the same, thank you—versus flip-flopper, tax-evading, non-transparent job-offshoring Romney and his blatant liar cohort Ryan.
—Richard Stevenson, co-founder and CEO, CobbleSoft International
My hope as a citizen, husband, father, and a business owner is that I'm in the majority when it comes to choosing Mitt Romney as the next president. Barack Obama has grown the size of government beyond comprehension and with a second term would do whatever he could to continue his "transformation" (i.e.; destruction).
—Todd Black, Black's Hardware
I believe that our country (and state) would be much better off with a smaller government, less regulation and a simpler tax code. Though not the perfect candidate, Mitt Romney seems way more interested in moving us more toward a smaller government, less regulation and a simpler tax code than does the incumbent.
—Doug Lyon, Lyon Capital Management
Obama has been a failure in helping the economy (11+ percent unemployment if we look at the number of people in the workforce when Obama took office). Romney has the experience and ideology to get us out of this. If Obama wins, you can expect nothing to get any better. Now, with this latest Benghazi debacle, I think the American people are starting to see that Obama has no idea of what he is doing because of his total lack of any credible management experience in life. If Obama and his whole administration can lie about this massacre of four Americans in Libya, then he is not trustworthy to lead this country. The world is less safe today than when Obama was sworn in. We need competent leadership in Washington and our country is starving for real leaders.
—Peter Caines, Penfield
I can't comprehend why so many poor and middle-class people vote against their own self-interest. Why do they fall for the right's carefully crafted messages that Republicans care about them? They don't. Sure, taxes are unpopular for everyone and deficit expansion is a challenge, but it has always been with us. The economy is slowly improving, and it took us more than 10 years of failed domestic and foreign policy blunders by the extreme right to get us to where we are. The president has done better than expected to turn things around, in spite of Republican obstructionism. The president has built up some momentum, so I believe allowing him to continue moving forward is the best strategic decision. Even the most wealthy people become ill or injured at some point and health care reform is the only way to ensure that all Americans get quality and timely medical treatment. There was a time when Republicans and Democrats worked together on behalf of all citizens. I want to see that sort of bipartisan cooperation again.
—Frank Orienter, Rochester
I don't like the Republican stance in regard to women's issues.
Despite the disgusting obstruction of congressional Republicans President Obama has consistently worked to strengthen the economy and improve conditions and opportunities for all Americans. He has demonstrated tremendous knowledge, strength and wisdom in foreign affairs. Although we are not yet where we need to be, his efforts have brought the U.S. back from the brink of economic disaster. He deserves another term, hopefully with a more supportive Congress.
It would be a different and much more economically viable country today if we had the 50 million consumers who were aborted. Why such hush on the obvious?
—Diane Harris, president, Hypotenuse Enterprises, Inc.
I'm 68 years old. So I can clearly remember President Eisenhower and every president since. Obama is the worst president in my lifetime. He is bad for the economy. He is bad for the military and foreign affairs. He is bad in every category on your list. The only thing he is good at is running an election campaign. This is because of his charisma and popularity with the media. But his solutions for the country's problems are based on outdated socialist theories that are proven not to work anywhere. Romney won't be a great president, but he'll be a lot better than Obama. If we want to avoid following Greece and the rest of Europe into a punishing austerity, we need to get rid of the big spenders now. This also means getting rid of Louise Slaughter and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.
—Dennis Ditch, Delta Square Inc.
Cutting through all the rhetoric and extreme-partisan-bull, here are the two core issues: Romney advocates an economic approach that is not relevant or workable in our modern, inter-connected world. It's been tried, it failed, and in fact, it CREATED the economic mess we're in right now. Remember that? It was in all the papers. It's a vision foisted on believers by a powerful, hidden, insidious group who are able to write self-enriching rules. Ironically, they have a lot of non-members advocating on their behalf. Further, even if he articulated a detailed plan for achieving some miraculous turn-around that somehow restored America to a nostalgic greatness in this rapidly-changing reality, I could never vote for him because he wants to take us back to a medieval social environment. The economy is important—clearly—but the political discourse allows neither candidate to describe a realistic vision for how America will thrive as the world changes around us. In a liquid global capital market, there is obviously no guarantee that tax breaks to the uber-rich will be invested in creating American jobs—it's simply not happening when they can get huge returns in other markets. It's time for something different; something more reflective of the challenges emerging in a decentralizing economic world. And while it's easy to bamboozle voters into thinking Obama hasn't done enough for the economy, my education and research tell me a different story. Once again, look past the rhetoric and remember what he inherited. Then analyze the data and see the results. The economy IS recovering. So even if you still give the economic edge to Romney, which I don't, then the religion-infused social agenda he advocates is a non-starter. Even the majority of my vocal conservative friends don't support that facet of his candidacy. But maybe there are many who would turn a blind eye to that facet to support a false promise of prosperity. Not me. Romney likes to say his position offers a clear choice—well, I DO agree with that!
Without a doubt, I would for Gov. Romney today, tomorrow or next Tuesday. To paraphrase Mr. Eastwood during the Republican National Convention, "I'm sorry Mr. Obama we're going to have to let you go."
I demand a president who respects the nation he leads whomever he or she may be.
—Daniel Mossien, architect
Romney says what he thinks the person to whom he is speaking wants to hear. Thus, his answers keep changing and it is not possible to determine exactly what he thinks—except that he wants to be president.
—Donald A. Dinero, TWI Learning Partnership
President Obama was not competent to hold the nation's highest office when he was elected on a program of hope and change four years ago. The hope he brought to office has failed to yield positive results and the change he promised has turned out to be change for the worst. But, the most disappointing fact is that he has not grown in office to deserve to be reelected. He remains as incompetent today as he was four years ago.
—Robert Zinnecker, Penfield
Obama will go down in history as the worst president of the United States of America ever to hold office (even worse than Jimmy Carter if you can believe that). He wasted his political capital in his first two years of office getting Obamacare passed—the most expensive partisan piece of legislation ever to pass Congress. Meanwhile the economy was in a tailspin. Obama lacks judgment. Romney is a businessperson who truly does understand how the economy works and how jobs can grow. I also believe because of his turnaround experience that he will make progress in reducing the size of the federal bureaucracy.
—Mike Kaser, Penfield
We shouldn't be electing a president every four years. We should be electing one every eight years and that's it. It's time for a new one.
—Hal Gaffin, Fairport
Mitt Romney is the clear choice for small business. President Obama has been a disaster. It’s amazing that according to the polls, it’s still a close race. It should be no surprise since a vast majority of all media outlets are in President Obama’s back pocket. The bias media should be calling out the president’s disastrous economic policies, which have produced 23 million unemployed and underemployed individuals in spite of adding almost $6 trillion of national debt. Gas prices have more than doubled since he’s taken office partly because of his energy policies and reduced drilling on federal lands. He has bragged about bankrupting coal-fired power plants because of stringent EPA restrictions and mandatory carbon credit purchases. His bungling of foreign policy in regards to the cover-up of the Benghazi incident where Ambassador Stevens was murdered, his disrespect of Israel, his silent agreement with President Medvedev of Russia and his international apology tour is disturbing. Obamacare will be taking more than $700 billion from Medicare and add taxes to many parts of this bill. It will also create extreme rationing. And why was the confiscation of the student loan business from the private sector put in the Obamacare law. The bill was passed without any Republican votes, which shows a lack of bipartisanship. What is worse is the bill was passed without knowing what was in it according to Nancy Pelosi. He also has appointed a number of radicals as czars and other positions. In fact, earlier this year he appointed a number of individuals to National Labor Relations Board, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and other agencies in violation of the Constitution, while Congress was still technically in session. He circumvented Congress to grant amnesty to a certain segment of illegal aliens and has not punished sanctuary cities for violations of United States immigration laws. This is only part of President Obama’s disastrous reign. Please vote for Mitt Romney!
—John Rynne, president, Rynne, Murphy & Associates, Inc.
11/2/12 (c) 2012 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.