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Election 2012 Heating Up

April 20, 2012

Bryan Barth ’13

After Rick Santorum suspended his campaign right here in Gettysburg, the race for the Republican nomination essentially ended. With Mitt Romney clearly the Republican frontrunner, the focus has shifted to Romney vs. Obama. Meanwhile, some negative attention has also fallen upon Mitt’s wife, Ann. This apparent end to a very heated primary contest should vault us into what will most likely be a very intense presidential race. Santorum’s dropping out makes the Pennsylvania primary less important, which may affect voter turnout for the Congressional primaries in Pennsylvania. Santorum also has refused to endorse Mitt Romney at this point in the race, even with recent endorsements from Speaker of the House John Boehner and Senator Mitch McConnell.

Meanwhile, President Obama wasted no time in voicing his opinions on oil when he called out oil companies on market manipulation. With the emergence of Super PACs and Barack Obama’s ability to raise money, I am curious to see how much this election will be affected by money. Recent rhetoric seems to place a heavy importance on oil and the energy industry in general, steering conversation in a new direction.

I imagine that in the next few weeks we will see a great deal more play out on the presidential front. While a lot has happened recently, I cannot imagine the pace of things slowing down anytime soon. Mitt Romney still has a lot to prove with conservatives, blue collar Americans, and Hispanics particularly, and it would be in his best interest to get going now while it’s still relatively early.

In other news, we saw the Buffet Rule killed in the Senate Tuesday. The Buffet Rule was an idea by business tycoon Warren Buffet that was intended to raise the tax rate for millionaires so they pay more taxes than the middle and lower classes. Democrats were furious at the block, claiming that this would raise nearly $50 billion over the next ten years. Republicans, on the other hand, claim that the whole thing is merely an “election year gimmick” by Barack Obama and that $50 billion would hurt American job creators while not even making a small dent in the national debt. During this debate and vote, President Obama and Mitt Romney used the opportunity to take swings at each other.

This has certainly been a busy week in politics, but I think we are starting to see how all of the issues are being worked into the campaign environment. Both sides of the campaign have been making statements on issues both new and old and their rhetoric has been intensifying as of late. Now that Mitt Romney has essentially locked in the Republican nomination, I, for one, am curious to see the electoral climate take shape even further.

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