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Economy Tops Primary Issues
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Economic issues have come to the fore as Connecticut goes to the polls this Super Tuesday.

With the threat of recession looming and no end to the housing crisis in sight, many people want to know what solutions the presidential candidates have to offer.

When it comes to picking a presidential candidate, for some in the business community, personal experience can definitely count.  Stan Cardinal owns a Honda dealership in Groton.

"I think that someone that was successful in business certainly has a leg up with me because I think they’ll be successful in controlling the economy and other types of things, but I’m not sure that those candidates always have international abilities."

For some job creation and retention count among the top issues – Josh Lyons is a financial advisor in Mystic.

"Barack Obama has addressed the issues about jobs going overseas, and manufacturing going overseas.  And while I think we can’t believe that we’re ever going to become a manufacturing society again in the United States, we need to address it, we need to address the quality of the manufacturing, we need to address what we are going to do here to survive."

Fellow finance professional Tom McBride says he’s disappointed not to have seen the Republican front runners discussing taxes.

"It’s shocking to me because the tax cuts that expire in 2010 are to me a great issue to be campaigning on, and why neither of them are talking about that right now is kind of foolish from a Republican standpoint – they could bring that discussion to the forefront so the Democrats would have to talk about it too."

The housing crisis is beginning to have an effect on almost everyone, and it may still have a ways to run in the state – Peter Roper does renovation and remodeling and says he’s really starting to see the effects among his subcontractors.

"When they’re telling me that normally they’d be fairly busy, it’s not that busy.  They come quickly for me this time of year, and it’s because they don’t have as much work.  So they’re feeling the crunch and not hiring, and maybe even laying off."

But not everyone believes the next president will have a free hand to fix the problem – or the credit crunch that caused it.  Barbara Crouch works in banking in Norwich, and also does voluntary work counseling delinquent borrowers.

"You have to build consensus, so if they say that 'I will have a policy that no-one can spend more than 40% of their income on housing', that may have to be massaged to 43%, or 38% or 52% to actually pass something that’s going to help.  So I think that I feel better when a candidate is general, more so than specific, because you can’t live up to those specific promises because you have to have consensus."

As Connecticut awaits the results of its role in the super Tuesday contest, many people will hope that their party’s nominee also has the economy in mind for the campaign ahead.