According to the Agri-Pulse Farm and Rural Poll released today, 78 percent of farmers polled are voting for Mitt Romney in the presidential election and a majority blame Democrats for failure to pass a new farm bill.
“We wanted to see not only how farmers viewed the presidential election, but how the failure to pass a new farm bill might impact their votes on a wide variety of races,” explained Agri-Pulse Editor Sara Wyant. “We also wanted to see how those men and women view some of the most challenging issues confronting their operations.”
On November 1, 2012, Pulse Opinion Research conducted a telephone survey of 319 farmers and ranchers who are likely voters. Questions covered the presidential election, farm bill priorities, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack’s job performance rating, the Renewable Fuels Standard, and other topics. The telephone survey found that 71 percent of respondents strongly disapprove of President Obama’s job performance while 12 percent strongly approve. Of all farmers polled, 51 percent labeled themselves Republican, 26 percent Democrat.
A majority (58 percent) of respondents believe the next president will cut farm program spending, regardless of who is elected. However, if more money is available to spend on farm programs, the most popular way to spend the money is improving crop insurance, as chosen by 37 percent of farmers polled. Notably, 49 percent of farmers indicated they grow only crops, 48 percent indicated they grow crops as well as raise livestock and 3 percent raise only livestock.
Those polled say they believe that environmental regulations and tax burdens are the biggest threats facing the future of their farming operations, 33 percent and 29 percent, respectively.