Greg Bell's 2012 US election prediction

Greg Bell is Skipton Business Finance's Managing Director

In the next 48 hours we will learn the outcome of the US elections with the race still deemed too close to call in the media. With the candidates running neck-and-neck in the polls, it is likely that everything will come down to the swing states with the result in Ohio likely to be the key in deciding the outcome of the entire election.

In Ohio the incumbent president has the edge in my opinion. Boosted by a total of 131 field officers who have been working the phone lines for the past month compares favourably in terms of man hours to the 40 mustered by Mitt Romney’s campaign.

Then there is the knockout blow of the bail-out factor. In Ohio one in eight jobs are linked to the motor industry and, in 2009, the decision to spend a reported $82 billion to save General Motors and Crysler will prove decisive.

When Obama launched his re-election effort with a speech in May at Ohio State University, he talked about Medicare, Osama Bin Laden, the health law he signed in 2010 and tax cuts for the wealthy. The president devoted two sentences to the auto bailout... genius!

So I predict a new term for Obama who will just fall short of 300 electoral votes but will pass the 270 required to remain in office. The president has recovered well from his pummelling in the early debates when Mitt Romney seized the initiative, only for the horrific event of cyclone Sandy to present the opportunity for Obama to demonstrate his presidential credentials with aplomb.

Impact on EU

The ramifications for the UK and the EU will become clearer, when, in the absence of a deal between the Republicans and Democrats, big tax and spending increases come into force by 1st January 2013. The net effect could be that the US again falls into recession and what happens in the US is eventually mirrored in the west with the UK economy closely aligned to that of our colleagues from across the pond.

I will be glued to CNN for tomorrow night’s show until my eyes give way but I fully expect to awake to the prospect of business as usual in the US.