Monday, May 07, 2012
Now less than six months away from Election Day, campaign season is in full swing. TV and radio advertising has already begun and candidates are traveling the country raising campaign funds and speaking to large crowds of supporters. The general election is also becoming clearer after a hotly contested Republican primary.
And the Republican Nominee Is …
As the Republican presidential field narrows, Governor Mitt Romney
is now widely believed to be the presumptive Republican nominee. Romney has a sizeable delegate lead with 847.
Following the example of Rick Santorum, former Speaker Newt Gingrich
has suspended his presidential campaign after having only won 137 delegates. Gingrich won both Georgia and South Carolina, but has been unable to keep pace with Romney on the campaign trail.Congressman Ron Paul
is expected to stay in the race, despite only having 93 delegates and winning one state (Minnesota). The Republican nominee will need to secure 1,144 delegates to win the nomination. Fourteen states have yet to hold their primary election. The current state of the Republican primary is below:
And lest there be any doubt about the superior edge held by Governor Romney, in addition to winning the race to secure delegates, he also has the current lead among Republican candidates in fundraising. According to the Federal Election Commission
, Governor Romney has raised $86.2 million with Ron Paul in a distant second place having raised $36.8 million. President Obama has raised $191.7 million thus far for his re-election campaign.
Let the General Election Begin
According to the most recent Rasmussen Presidential Tracking Poll
from May 2, Governor Romney leads President Obama 47 percent to 46 percent, with 3 percent voting for a third party candidate and 4 percent undecided. Of course, these polls fluctuate almost daily, but the narrow margin clearly indicates a tight race. Digging a little deeper, however, and looking at battle ground states that were narrowly won by Obama in 2008 and may well be the turf upon which 2012 is decided, one can see a narrow advantage to Obama in the electoral college race. Again, we will see many fluctuations with these state polls in the weeks to come.
On the Tech Issues
As the field narrows, candidates generally better define their policy positions in order to highlight contrasts with the President. While we will likely begin to see more differences as the campaign progresses, President Obama and Mitt Romney ironically share positions on several key issues important to the tech community. For example, both candidates:
- Support the permanent extension of the R&D tax credit
- Support increasing the number of visas for high tech workers
- Support reducing the corporate tax rate (Romney to 25 percent / Obama to 28 percent)
- Opposed the passage of SOPA.
However, don’t expect these candidates to remain on the same side of many issues. The general election will likely bring out significant differences on a range of policies important to the tech community, which we will highlight as the campaign continues.