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Wednesday, 23 July 2014 11:02 pm

Stuff poll: Kiwis pick Obama as their man

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WHILE world media outlets are still predicting a close race for the Whitehouse, New Zealanders are confident Barack Obama has it in the bag.

A poll on Stuff.co.nz that asked who will win the US election showed an overwhelming number of readers favouring Obama, with 82% of readers (or 6067 votes) predicting him as winner.

Almost 8% (or 601 voters) predicted a Mitt Romney victory, and 10% (762 votes) saying it was too close to call.

The results of the poll let to argument in Stuff’s comment section, with one person claiming New Zealanders were simply backing the incumbent president on account of his skin colour.

“Obama swept into power with the majority of African Americans voting for him purely because he was one of them,” they said.

“Then you factor in all the white Leftist PC brigade doing good for the world by backing Obama…If Obama was a white man from Nashville there is no way he would have been elected last time, plain and simple.”

The commenter was castigated by several others, including one who said, “I imagine most New Zealanders, according to that poll, are hoping that the anti-human rights and pro-diplomacy over-the-top military option first Republican crowd don’t get in.”

Commenters were quick to speak out against Romney, with one saying the Republican solution is to “turn all the old, sick, poor, non-white, non-Christian, female, unemployed and gay people into slaves.

“Or at least whip them until they are young, healthy, rich, white, Christian, male, employed and straight.” T his did not sit well with another commenter, who said, “And the Democrat’s solution is to make everyone dependent on the Government so they will vote [for them] time and time again.

“No wonder the NZ media loves Obama. Government handouts are what the NZ public is familiar with.”

Commenters were also suspicious of voting mishaps, such as including a voting machine that lit up for Romney even when a voter pressed the button for Obama.

“Rigged voting machines are America’s process for implementing democracy. It doesn’t happen by itself, you know,” said one.

EARLIER REPORTS

DESPITE large voter turnout in the swing states, they remained too hard to call from exit polls by early afternoon NZ time.

The five critical swing states in the US election (Ohio, Florida, Virginia, New Hampshire and Wisconsin) were showing a narrow margin to Obama in all but one state.

RealClearPolitics latest poll predicted an electoral college win to Obama in all but Florida.

The poll showed Romney at 49.7% in Florida, over one percentage point higher than Obama’s 48.2%.

However, Enstarz.com noted that, despite the poll results, 43% of Florida’s voters are registered Democrats, while 37% identify themselves as Republicans.

The website expected the state vote to reflect party loyalty, and go with Obama not Romney.

Almost 1.8 million of Ohio’s eligible voters have used the postal system to vote early, showing a trend towards Obama.

The Los Angeles Times notes Ohio has lower unemployment than the national average which, together with Obama’s bailout of Chrysler, may be influencing the vote.

Within a 20-minute time span, Mitt Romney, running mate Paul Ryan, and Vice President Joe Biden all landed at Cleveland Airport before continuing on to their election day venues.

Virginia voted Obama into the US presidency in 2008, but just one year later voted in Republican Governor Robert McDonell.

CNBC.com believes that budget cuts to discretionary defence spending of potentially $50 billion could hit the state hard.

A local New Hampshire news site reported that first-in-the-nation presidential primary votes in Dixville Notch opened and closed within 43 seconds, with Obama and Romney each receiving 5 votes — the first time there’s been a tie in the community.

In Hart’s Location, Obama won with 23 votes, Romney received nine and Libertarian Gary Johnson received one vote. Voting there took 5 minutes, 42 seconds.

Delays

VOTERS are turning out in large numbers across the US, but are facing delays as they queue to place their ballots.

CCN News reports that queues are starting to back up in a number of polling venues across the nation.

Broken polling machines have caused some counties to revert to paper ballots in a move to push the voters through, says CNN.

The news channel also notes that changes to legislation have meant that some voters have got to the front of the queue, only to find they are not eligible to vote.

For example, Pennsylvania does not have a requirement for photo identification, but some polling places, confused by law changes, have been asking for it.

Volunteers from both the Republican and Democrat parties are providing transport to get as many voters as possible to the polling stations.

Weather

America’s east coast is predicted to have rain today but The Guardian says this won’t be enough to keep voters indoors.

Bad weather in previous elections caused voter numbers to decrease.

The Guardian reported every inch above normal rainfall, overall turnout drops by a little less than 1%, but Democratic turnout drops by 2.5%.

Six of the 10 swing states will have clear weather which will not have an impact on people voting, making this year’s race very tight on the race.

Of the four swing states which will be hit by light showers today, two, according to polls by The Guardian, are shown to support Romney and two support Obama.

Turnout

The BBC reports that voter turn-out will be crucial in this election, because the polls show the presidential hopefuls neck in neck.

According to Radio NZ, as many as 30 million people have cast their votes before ballot day.

In storm-damaged New Jersey, some local papers are reporting a good voter turn-out so far, with long lines waiting to vote at the booths.

“Everyone is coming out, no matter how bad things are,” said one voter.

Special election shuttles were provided for citizens of badly storm-damaged areas to get to temporary polling booths throughout New Jersey.

But other New Jersey booths are reporting a ‘catastrophic’ situation as some computers damaged by the storm have crashed, and some polling officials are demanding identification from voters, which is against state law.

Polling opened first in eastern states and a winner could be known by midnight.   More than 130 million people voted in the 2008 election.

Mitt/Obama

After years of campaigning Barack Obama is taking some time off on the most important day of all to shoot some hoops.

In Chicago, Mr Obama is continuing with his Election Day tradition of playing a pick-up game of basketball.

Mr Obama once missed his traditional Election Day game, and that was in 2008 on the day of the New Hampshire primary which he lost.

The president already cast his electoral vote last month, and is expected to spend the rest of his day in his home state of Illinois making radio and television interviews.

Unlike his opponent, Mr Romney is still campaigning until the last minute.

Mr Romney and his wife Ann voted this morning in Bedford, Massachusetts, and from there they will travel to Cleveland and Philadelphia for late rallies.

Ohio is a key state needed for a Romney victory, and upon leaving the voting station, Romney was quoted saying,”I feel great about Ohio.”

 

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is a Whitireia journalism student, most passionate about the arts and social justice issues. Sometimes, she even combines the two.
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