USA Votes 2012

Candidates Hopes Hinge on US Economic Sentiment

Candidates Hopes Hinge on US Economic Sentimenti
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Michael Bowman
September 06, 2012 5:54 PM
The U.S. presidential race is widely seen as a referendum on Barack Obama’s handling of a still-struggling economy. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's campaign is recycling a rhetorical tactic from a past era designed to amplify popular discontent over tough economic conditions.
Candidates Hopes Hinge on US Economic Sentiment
Michael Bowman
The U.S. presidential race is widely seen as a referendum on Barack Obama's handling of a still-struggling economy.  Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's campaign is recycling a rhetorical tactic from a past era designed to amplify popular discontent over tough economic conditions.

Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan says Barack Obama cannot hide his administration's economic record.

"We are not going to hear evidence and facts about how people are better off [under President Obama]," said Ryan.  "You see the president cannot run on his record."

The argument echoes a question Ronald Reagan asked during his 1980 presidential campaign that defeated then-President Jimmy Carter when he asked, "Are you better off today than you were four years ago?"

Republicans hope voters will deliver the same verdict this year.

Democrats argue today's high unemployment rate and sluggish economic growth are the lingering effects of a deep recession that began months before Obama took office, during a Republican administration.

"President Obama started with a much weaker economy than I did," said Former President Bill Clinton during his Democratic Convention speech last night.  "No president - not me or any of my predecessors - could have repaired all the damage in just four years."

But most Americans have yet to see their finances improve.

"We are in a very slow recovery," noted Gary Hufbauer of the Peterson Institute.  "Wages have not gone up, and unemployment is still pretty high. Against these earlier expectations, things do not look so good."

Will voters punish President Obama for a tepid economy, or will they give him credit for helping the nation weather a devastating financial crisis?  Both Republicans and Democrats are gambling that the answer to those questions will lead them to victory.

Related video report by Meredith Buel:

US Political Landscape Awash in Moneyi
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September 06, 2012 10:55 PM
The 2012 presidential election in the United States will almost certainly be the most expensive in American history. A Supreme Court decision is allowing independent groups to spend unlimited amounts of money to influence voters and that could have a profound impact on the election. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports from Washington

VOA Election Night TV Coverage

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VOA Election Night Coveragei
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November 07, 2012 7:54 AM
President Barack Obama defeated Republican rival Mitt Romney to win reelection to the White House for four more years. VOA covered the results as they came in along with the victory and concession speeches by the candidates.

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