Residents of Eugene’s Friendly Area Neighborhood express confidence in Romney’s success, Obama’s shortcomings
By Sydney Sam Bouchat
The upcoming presidential race of 2012 has many Eugene residents guessing at the future of their country.
The widely publicized GOP debates leave many wondering who will bound ahead to become the Republican candidate in next year’s election, and whether he or she will have a chance against President Barack Obama’s skilled campaigning.
According to a CBS/New York Times poll released Oct. 22, GOP hopefuls Herman Cain and Mitt Romney top the charts with 25 percent and 21 percent Republican primary voter support, respectively. Newt Gingrich, who comes in third, garnered just 10 percent.
The consensus in Eugene, however, is slightly different.
“I think it’s going to be Romney,” Eugene resident Harry Cardoza said. “I don’t think Cain has enough money to back him up.”
Business owner Prairie Cogburn agrees. “He seems like the most competent,” Cogburn said of Romney. Cogburn owns the Sattva Gallery in Friendly Area Neighborhood.
During a brief survey of Friendly Area Neighborhood, the unanimous opinion was that 64-year-old Romney, formerly the governor of Massachusetts, would become Obama’s eventual Republican opponent for the presidency.
Obama’s presidential performance has disappointed many supporters, including Eva Promen, owner of Uncommon Scents, a perfume store in Friendly Area.
“I’ve been saddened by [Obama’s] limitations,” Promen said. “He’s having to play the game. He’s such a good team player that he’s almost playing too fairly. That’s good and bad. I’d like to see him do more. If he gets in there again, he’ll be able to take the power and do something.”
Cogburn has similar sentiments, believing that, as a first-term president, Obama was too much of a “crowd-pleaser.”
“If he gets reelected, I don’t think he’s going to care what anybody thinks,” Cogburn said. “It’s not going to be a popularity contest anymore.”
But many Americans believe that Obama does not deserve a second chance. In a recent United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll, only 35 percent of the 770 registered voters surveyed wanted Obama reelected. According to the most recent Gallup poll, Obama’s approval rating is one of the lowest during his term at 43 percent.
“Before he went into office, I thought Obama would do a better job as far as getting the Senate and Congress to join together and do something,” Cardoza said. “I think he really failed at that. I think the next president is going to do a better job.”
The question remains, however, as to who that next president will be. While polls point to Cain as the frontrunner for the Republican Party, word on Eugene streets predicts Romney’s eventual rise to fame.
“Nobody has made an impression on us enough to even be in our minds,” Promen said. “But people know Romney. They know he’s got money; they know he’s got charisma.”
Whether that money and charisma, in addition to Obama’s falling approval ratings, will be enough to create a Republican-controlled White House remains to be seen.