Off to the Races: 2012 Campaign Begins In Earnest


Off to the Races: 2012 Campaign Begins In Earnest

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November 2012 is just six months away. Along with the presidential race, voters will be tasked with electing leaders on the local and federal level, shouldering the responsibility of steering their states and country forward.

At The Top Of The Ticket

Given the current climate, the economy will most likely be the key issue of the election.

President Obama will argue that his policies kept the U.S. from experiencing an economic depression. Governor Romney will argue that the recovery has moved at a glacial pace and requires the oversight of a proven business leader.

Messaging to their key constituencies while also targeting the ever growing and important independent voters will be of interest. Will President Obama generate the same enthusiasm as four years ago? Or will Gov. Romney pick up the disillusioned vote that might propel him to victory?

It will be an interesting six months.

Congressional Races

House and Senate leaders will be making a pitch for one-party control of the two chambers.

Until recently, the smart money was on the Republicans maintaining control of the House and wrestling the coveted 60-seat majority from the Democrats in the Senate.

But Democrats are seeing a sliver of sunlight in their chances of maintaining their narrow majority in the Senate with a few key primary outcomes in Indiana and Utah.

Primary voters in Indiana recently fired six-term senator Dick Luger. They decided against the establishment candidate for what some described as a more disciplined conservative.

The fate of Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, will be decided in June. However, Utah remains one of the most conservative states in the country and will undoubtedly stay Republican regardless of the candidate.

Other Senate races in Virginia, New Mexico, Florida, Maine and Nebraska, will provide an interesting prism through which to view the presidential campaign.

The Pulse Of The Voters

While the U.S. tends to be insular when it comes to its elections, it’s worth looking at the recent elections in Europe as a barometer for voter sentiment.

Voters across the globe are frustrated with the depressed economy; Europeans who have been hit especially hard with a double-dip recession are making their voices heard through elections. It is something to monitor as we move toward November.

This summer, the NASE will launch our Election Watch Web page that will include information regarding presidential, Senate, House and gubernatorial races. We’ll have information about the candidates’ positions on issues important to the self-employed, such as:

  • Health care equity
  • Individual tax reform
  • Economic policy

Keep up to date on the issues impacting you and your business with NASE Election Watch.

Kristie L. Arslan is president and CEO of the NASE and provides critical insight to policymakers on issues affecting our nation’s self-employed. You can contact her at

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