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Richard Connor: Will the economy and Obamacare decide the election?

🕐 3 min read

My advice is for folks to start practicing saying “Madam President,” but there’s always the chance of voters going rogue in the face of dismal Donald Trump polls.

Changes can happen suddenly in politics and in the polling booth. My point in a recent column was that the economy and the effect on it by either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump has had no traction in this election.

Could it finally be kicking in, and just on the recent news about soaring insurance rates with the Affordable Care Act, affectionately known as Obamacare?

Reports emerged last week predicting an average increase of 22 percent in health insurance rates under the plan. But as CNN Money reports, the rate changes vary – and there is wide variation – from state to state:

“In Arizona, the benchmark plan’s average premium will increase 116 percent in 2017…In Indiana, the benchmark plan will be 3 percent cheaper.”

In Texas, the projected average increase in health insurance premiums next year is 30 percent.

In the last few days, two persons who had told me two months ago how they planned to vote for president in the Nov. 8 election hooked a left turn on me – or, in this case, a sharp right turn.

They said in July they were voting for Clinton, even though they consider themselves Republicans (at least in spirit). But now …

“Voting for Trump,” said one. “Might as well get it out of the way and fess up to you.”

Never speak to me again, I said.

Trump is sexist, racist and becomes completely unhinged in an instant, I pointed out.

“Yup,” said one, “but my health insurance rates are going to go up at least 25 percent.”

I countered.

No problem, I said. Don’t get sick.

No laugh. Not even a smile.

Trump supporters have no sense of humor, which is odd since he is so laughable. But, of course, Hillary is despised and so there we have it.

Right back where we started.

We have two of the most unlikable candidates for president in history running in an election that has been unpredictable in more ways than we can count.

And guess what?

After pollsters declared Trump DOA, new polls at the end of last week showed the race tightening again, with at least one poll showing Clinton’s lead over Trump shrinking to three percent.

That’s a statistical dead heat.

Trump is staging a moderate comeback. The economy is coming into question, particularly regarding the anticipated increase in rates for Obamacare – and the “WikiLeaks” emails that the Clinton campaign had been trying to ignore were coming into play with revelations that President Obama knew about Hillary’s controversial private email server before the issue became public and that Clinton aides worried about conflicts of interest arising from the Clinton Foundation.

One of the political junkies I go to for advice – and who sometimes offers what I consider an informed opinion – believes that many who will vote for Trump are not admitting it.

Add to that possibility a phenomenon no one can explain and no one can handicap: Early voters are showing up in record-breaking numbers. And that right there could be the best news of this wacky campaign. For whatever reasons, folks are showing up to vote – and in droves.

Won’t it give us something to ponder if this election breaks modern day records for voter turnout?

Here is the one thing you can be certain of, believe me. Neither Hillary Clinton nor Donald Trump will ruin America and our government. Many of my opinions have changed over the years, but two have not.

The American electorate is not dumb and our system of checks and balances works.

Richard Connor is president and publisher of the Fort Worth Business Press. Contact him at

Richard Connor
Richard Connor is the owner and CEO/Publisher of DRC Media, the parent company of the Fort Worth Business Press. he also owns newspapers in Virginia. Mr. Connor held a number of corporate media executive positions before founding his own company. He is an award-winning columnist and at one time wrote a weekly column on national politics for CQ Politics, the online version of Washington, D.C.-based Congressional Quarterly.

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