Profiles: Fifty shades of America

50 American voters from every state in the US - 25 for Obama and 25 for Romney.

November 6, 2012 16:09

American elections. (photo credit: Reuters)


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“It will not be easy, and it will be long.” This was what President Obama stated in his inaugural address in January 2009, predicting his first term would be difficult in the wake of the economic crash that he inherited. One voter interviewed here remembers this line. Many more lament the economy’s slow growth.

In this piece, where I profile 50 American voters from every state in the US, 25 for Obama and 25 for Romney, Romney voters’ overwhelmingly say that they want to replace Obama with a business savvy candidate that will exercise more fiscal restraint and create more jobs. They believe he can do this from his ability to balance the budget when he was the governor of Massachusetts without raising taxes, as well as his extensive private sector success.

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Some of the Obama voters express support for Obama’s economic policies, and often credit the 2008 economic crash at the end of Bush’s presidency for the difficulties still lingering in the economy. However, Obama voters’ largely say they support the President for his social agenda. Most voters cite social issues such as fair pay for women, LGBTQ rights, a women’s right to contraception and abortion, and healthcare as the main reasons they are voting for Obama. Perhaps this is because Obama’s first term was more successful on this front in comparison to the economy.

On the other hand, Romney voters barely mention social issues, such as traditional marriage and pro-life policies, as reasons they are voting for Romney. Unlike other campaign seasons, the economy is the central issue for Republican voters. Additionally, Israel ranks high among Republican concerns.

Granted, this pool of voters is undoubtedly biased considering everyone knew this article was going to be published on an Israeli news site. That being said, it is interesting to see that of the voters that mention Israel as one of their reasons to support either candidate, seven voters support Romney and three support Obama. Delving a bit deeper, of the 10 voters that mention Israel, five are Jewish, three of whom are the Obama supporters. Not surprisingly, this demonstrates American Jews’ continued division over policies regarding Israel, whereas most non-Jewish voters that value Israel (mostly religious Christians) support the Republican party.

Each voter interviewed gives a unique, valuable perspective on the challenges facing the United States. I hope these voters give you a glimpse of what is at stake for Americans in the 2012 presidential election.

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