Five World Events That Could Swing the U.S. Election
The prevailing political wisdom is that the economy — not foreign policy — will determine who becomes the next president of the United States. When voters were asked in a Washington Post-ABC News poll this week what the single most important issue was for them in choosing a president, 52 percent said jobs and the economy (and they’re evenly split on whether Barack Obama or Mitt Romney would do a better job on the latter). To put that figure in perspective, the second most-cited issue was “Health care/repealing Obamacare” at a mere 7 percent, while foreign-policy issues such as terrorism and the war in Afghanistan each mustered a measly 1 percent of responses. In January, the Pew Research Center concluded that the American public is more concerned with domestic policy than at any point in the past 15 years.
But every politician lives in fear of that 3 a.m. phone call that can upend the best-laid campaign plans. Here are five global events that could send the U.S. election careening along a very different path than the one it’s traveling down today.