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Local News -

November 6, 2012

Local officials expect big turnout

Tight White House race points to packed polls

“The future of this republic is in the hands of the American voter.”

— President Dwight D. Eisenhower

All campaign trails lead to Election Day — and with a highly competitive presidential race at the top of the ballot, the voter turnout today should be heavy across the region, local political observers predicted Monday.

In New York, polling stations will be open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.

National polls suggested the contest between President Barack Obama and GOP hopeful Mitt Romney will be so close that some pundits say it is possible the Electoral College may choose a president who ends up losing the popular vote.

There is also significant drama over the race pitting Rep. Chris Gibson, R-Kinderhook, against Democratic challenger Julian Schreibman of Ulster County, a former federal prosecutor who served as his county’s Democratic chairman.

A Siena College poll released Oct. 29 suggested Schreibman was gaining strength and, according to that snapshot, trailed Gibson, a former Army colonel and Iraq war veteran, by just five percentage points.

Otsego County Democratic Chairman Richard Abbate said Obama and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-New York, are heavy favorites in the region — a fact that could help propel Schreibman to finish ahead of Gibson when the ballots are tabulated tonight.

“I think everyone is really motivated this time, and we’re going to have a large turnout,” Abbate said. As for the presidential race, he added, the nation may not learn the winner for many hours after polls close because national surveys indicate it’s shaping up as a cliffhanger.

“I’m hoping we can have a clear winner so the country can go back to business,” he said.

The Gibson campaign issued media releases voicing optimism about the congressman’s chances of being elected to represent the newly carved 19th Congressional District after he racked up editorial endorsements from four daily newspapers in the region, including The Daily Star and even Schreibman’s hometown newspaper, The Kingston Freeman.

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