Campaigns Appeal to Rural Voters

With the 2012 election only weeks away and with major swing states each containing significant rural populations, both the Obama and Romney campaigns are attempting to appeal to rural voters by hyping their respective farm policies.

Earlier this month, both campaigns updated their websites in order to highlight their respective agricultural policies. The Romney website included a white paper highlighting the overall gist of the candidate’s views toward the farm sector.

In the paper, the Romney team stressed the need for lower taxes, fewer environmental regulations, a less intrusive federal government, and increased overseas trade. “He will pursue fundamental tax reform that cuts tax rates for all Americans and eliminates the estate tax that unfairly penalizes family farms. And he will respect the legitimate needs and concerns of farmers and ranchers, by ensuring that a strong farm bill is passed in timely fashion and by pursuing rational regulation that protects health, safety, and the environment without imposing unnecessary burdens,” the paper said.

The Obama campaign also recently uploaded an agricultural statement. In an open letter to American farmers, Obama touted the accomplishments of his administration and attacked Republican farm policy (beginning with a criticism of the House of Representatives for failing to pass a new five-year farm bill). “To pay for their tax cuts for the richest Americans, farmers facing severe drought and natural disasters would pay more for their crop insurance, and conservation programs would be gutted. Their budget could cut programs that support rural schools, small businesses, housing and economic development by nearly 20 percent, undermining rural economic growth and rural middle-class security,” Obama’s letter stated.

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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer