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Another Chance at Change

Written and compiled by Binyamin Rose

On paper, Barack Obama should have been one of the most beatable incumbent presidents in recent years. The economy is flaccid, the war on terror that began more than ten years ago is still malignant, and polls show that just four in ten Americans think the country is going in the right direction. Yet voters spurned a clear opportunity to take a sharp U-turn this Tuesday when they reelected Obama and rejected Mitt Romney.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

obamaIn an election where the economy took center stage, voters were faced with a stark contrast: Should the government be a business partner, and not its master, as Mitt Romney himself phrased it? Or should government be lord and master, as Obama has run it?

That dichotomy clearly showed in exit polls. An exit poll conducted for Politico showed a growing belief that government is overstepping its role. Some 53% said government is doing too many things that should be left to businesses and individuals. That’s a rise of 10% since Obama took office.

On the other hand, when asked by a Fox News exit poll: Which is closer to your view: government should do more to solve problems, or government is doing too many things better left to businesses and individuals, the results were almost a mirror image, with 51% saying government should do more and 43% saying it’s doing too much already.

The opposing results of the two polls seem to demonstrate a lack of consensus among Americans regarding the government’s role. The Fox exit poll also vindicated Obama’s strategy of continuing to blame George W. Bush for the nation’s economic woes, even though Mitt Romney often pointed out that four years is enough time to get things right without blaming one’s predecessor. In the key swing states ofFlorida,OhioandVirginia, all of which Obama won, 50% or more of the voters said Bush is more to blame for the country’s current economic problems, while only 41-45% faulted the president.


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