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Carlin: There’s a Lot at Stake for Dairy in This Election

Oct 05, 2016

In today’s DairyLine broadcast to producers, J. David Carlin, IDFA senior vice president of legislative affairs and economic policy, highlights dairy issues that have been covered on the presidential campaign trail and offers a few election predictions.


 There is a lot at stake for dairy producers and processors in this election, and issues that are critically important to our industry have been much discussed on the campaign trail. For example, international trade has been a huge issue for both of the major presidential candidates on the stump so changes to our country’s existing trade policies are likely, no matter who wins in November.

The same is true regarding immigration reform – and no matter who wins, our industry desperately needs guest worker rules that recognize that cows need to be milked 365 days a year.

As we head into the campaign home stretch, here are a few election predictions:

No matter where you stand politically, you have to accept the fact that either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton will be taking the oath of office on January 20th. So who will it be? Well, I think it’s going to come down to which campaign does a better job of turning out its voters, particularly in important Electoral College swing states. Ground games really matter in politics, particularly in close elections, so I think that factor will be very important in determining who sits in the Oval Office next January.

Control of the Senate is also up for grabs in November. Democrats still hope to gain control of the upper chamber, but it’s not clear they can do that, despite the fact that Republicans are defending 24 out of the 34 seats that are up this year. Democrats will need to take five seats away from the Republicans if Mr. Trump wins, and four if Secretary Clinton is elected, with then Vice President Tim Kaine needing to essentially camp out in the Capitol to cast tie-breaking votes on legislative issues in the future. While the Democrats are currently poised to take a couple of Republican seats and are running even in three other states currently represented by Republicans, the election outcome is far from clear. While there still could be a few surprises on election night, it seems very possible that the Senate could be split almost evenly next year.

The House is a little easier to predict. Republicans currently hold 60 more seats than Democrats do, so it would take a gain of 30 seats for the Democrats to take control of the House. Most observers believe that Democrats will gain somewhere between 10 and 15 seats in November, leaving Republicans in control of the House for the next congress.

Those are my thoughts on the upcoming elections. No matter where you live, please vote and make your voice heard in November. 

 
 
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