Hundreds of thousands are expected to choose between incumbent barack obama and his challenger mitt romney before the final phase of the election campaign even begins. Obama and romney hold rallies almost every day and face each other in three more televised debates.
Experts expect that this time up to 46 million voters will cast their ballots before the 6. November, reported the TV station NBC. That was about one-third of all voters and even more than in 2008, when obama benefited greatly from "early voting". Current polls show the democratic incumbent with an average of 48 percent, well ahead of his opponent romney, who is at just under 45 percent. This has the portal realclearpolitics.Com determined on sunday.
Obama was boosted most recently by a blunder by his opponent, who classified the 47 percent of americans who – he said – voted for obama as social parasites. Obama used the stirring topic in his favor over the weekend. At an appearance in wisconsin, he accused republican romney of "writing off half the nation".
Romney’s partial disclosure of his private finances on friday also triggered discussions: according to the report, he paid at least 13.6 percent of his income to the tax authorities over the past 20 years – less than the average american. Romney’s fortune estimated at well over $200 million.
With a notarized letter from accountants, he was able to refute the democrats’ accusation that he had at times paid no taxes at all. But obama supporters want more transparency. They even speak of manipulation and demand the disclosure of the annual tax returns for the entire period from 1990 to 2009. Critics also called the disclosure just before the weekend a clever PR maneuver.
Romney now released his 2011 tax returns. According to the report, he and his wife ann earned about 13.7 million dollars (10.5 million euros). By comparison, president barack obama and his wife michelle earned just under $800,000 in 2011, according to their tax returns. The romneys paid about 14 percent in taxes. Because the income comes mainly from investments, dividends and interest income, which are taxed much less in the USA than wages or salaries. The "new york times" criticized romney for paying a "much lower rate than many rich or very rich americans. Top tax rate would otherwise be 35 percent.
Romney’s disclosures further indicate that he donated about four million dollars last year. He claimed only 2.2 million of that on his tax return to avoid paying an even lower rate, he said.
Obama had repeatedly called on his opponent to disclose his financial situation far into the past, as is customary for presidential candidates. He also accuses romney in TV campaign ads of stashing his money in tax havens in the caribbean.
Taxes are also a top campaign issue: if obama is re-elected in november, he wants to ensure that all millionaires pay at least 30 percent to the government. He calls his plan the "buffett rule," after legendary investor and multi-billionaire warren buffett. The latter had said he would be happy to pay more to the treasury. Because he pays a lower tax rate than his secretary.