election 2012 polls

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Election 2012: Obama's Odds Are Pretty Good if You Ask Mr. Market

If you want to know who's going to win Election 2012, just ask Mr. Market. He has a knack for picking presidential winners.

As it happens, stock market performance in the years and months leading up to a presidential election is one of the most reliable indicators of who will win and who will lose.

And the way things look at the moment, Mr. Market really likes the President Barack Obama reelection odds.
Obama Reelection odds
"It's suggesting that Obama's got a better chance than people think," Jeff Hirsch of Stock Trader's Almanac told Yahoo's Breakout last week. "Incumbent victories are accompanied by much larger gains in the stock market. The Dow Jones has been up significantly higher in election years when incumbents win. And it looks like the track that we're on here."

Hirsch's data shows that since 1901, election years in which the incumbent wins enjoy a Dow Jones Industrial Average rise of 6% by August and 12% by Election Day.

So far this year, the Dow is up nearly 8.5% -- comfortably in re-election territory for President Obama.

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What Investors Love About the Romney Tax Plan

With Election 2012 less than one hundred days away the verbal slingshots between the two candidates have picked up in negativity. Tax returns and tax policies have been the subject of the latest round of insults and political maneuvers.

The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center released a report claiming Mitt Romney's tax plan would "provide large tax cuts to high-income households, and increase the tax burdens on middle- and/or lower-income taxpayers."

President Obama responded by calling the Romney tax plan a Robin Hood reversal and dubbed the former governor's plan "Romney Hood."

Romney responded with a childish quip of his own calling the president's remarks "Obamaloney."

But if you want to take a step back from the negative tone of campaigning, one tax plan clearly stands out as a winner for investors.

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Vice Presidential Nominee Paul Ryan to Make Election a Budget War

In naming Rep. Paul Ryan, R-WI, as his vice presidential nominee, Mitt Romney ensured that the 2012 election will be mainly about how the country ultimately deals with its massive budget deficits.

Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, made his running mate announcement Saturday morning in Norfolk, VA. The choice of Ryan completes the ticket that will face off against President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden in November.

Ryan, a seven-term congressman and chairman of the House Budget Committee, in March released a controversial budget proposal - the so-called Ryan Budget Plan -- that now figures to become a central part of the presidential campaign.

Ryan's Budget Plan would deal harshly with federal spending by making major changes to programs like Medicare, Medicaid and food stamps.

Republicans who support the plan say the austerity is needed to get the country's huge budget deficits under control. Democrats counter that the Ryan Budget Plan balances the budget on the backs of those who can least afford it.

So it's not too surprising that both parties are thrilled with Ryan as the VP nominee.

"I have long supported Paul Ryan's fiscal and entitlement reforms to return our country back on a path of fiscal health," said former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, a Republican presidential candidate who dropped out of the race in April. "At a time when our country is at an economic crossroads, Congressman Ryan's depth of knowledge on how to tackle these challenges is unparalleled."

Certainly, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-NV, based his reaction to the Ryan VP pick on the Ryan Budget Plan.

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Election 2012: Reid Has Nothing to Lose in Romney Tax Returns Rant

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-NV, appears to have one sole mission until November: Find a way to get the Mitt Romney tax returns released.

The tax returns battle began in the primaries when GOP rivals asked the former Massachusetts governor to release the information. Romney has released the past two years' of returns and refuses to share more.

Now Reid has gone full force in questioning Romney's secrecy, and doesn't appear to have any reason to stop.

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