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Duncan Weighs in on Importance of Capturing Florida's Electoral Votes, More

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Election year means strong demand for political expertise.
Dr. Tom Duncan and CBS anchor Ben Becker.

Dr. Tom Duncan and CBS anchor Ben Becker.

Duncan shares insight with ABC's Angela Rozier.

Duncan shares insight with ABC's Angela Rozier.

WPEC anchor Ben Becker turns to Duncan for insight.

WPEC anchor Ben Becker turns to Duncan for insight.

September 12, 2012

Northwood University Florida President Dr. Tom Duncan recently weighed in on the importance for President Obama and Governor Romney of capturing Florida's 29 electoral votes, even as the President paid another visit to Palm Beach County.

Duncan shared that the candidate who wins Florida will likely win the Presidency. Seniors, who represent about 17 percent of the state's 18.8 million residents, could hold the key for both Governor Romney and President Obama – depending on who gets their votes.

With possible revisions of Medicare, Social Security and other entitlement programs on the table, Obama, targeting seniors, independents and Latinos, cited a report that showed costs for the programs would rise dramatically as a result of the Republicans' proposals. Romney's representatives countered, saying the report was not neutral and called Obama's attacks untrue.. (Obama) has done nothing to reform Medicare for the long haul and prevent it from going bankrupt, and on his watch family health care premiums have increased by nearly $2,500," said Romney spokesman Ryan Williams in a statement.

President Duncan also responded to reporters' questions about the Jewish vote in Florida, and referred to the decision by the Democratic National Convention delegates, under pressure from critics, to insert Jerusalem as Israel's capital back into the party platform. In other interviews this week, Duncan noted Governor Romney's successful trip to Israel, at which he gave a major address outlining his positions on U.S. – Israel relations in the context of overall Mideast tensions. When asked whether Romney could peel off significant Jewish support in Florida from President Obama, Duncan stated, "Governor Romney doesn't have to win the Jewish vote in Florida; he just has to siphon off a significant percentage of it to change the electoral dynamics in the state."

Reporters also interviewed Duncan about the disturbing events in Libya, where several Americans were killed including the Ambassador. President Duncan noted that across the Middle East, nations appear to be in serious turmoil, citing events in Syria, Egypt, Iraq, and the ongoing war in Afghanistan. "On top of these state crises, the threat of war between Israel and Iran over the nuclear intentions of the Iranian government could change the dynamic of the U.S. election over the next two months, Duncan stated. "Just when we thought the election would only be about the economy, jobs, and Medicare, now we have the real possibility of foreign policy issues becoming important in the national discussions."

Recently appointed Northwood Florida President in July, Duncan serves as a valued political commentator for CBS, ABC, NBC and FOX television affiliates. From 1985-1992, he served as a senior staff member to Missouri Governor John Ashcroft in education and policy management as well as Director of the Division of Professional Registration. Prior to his government service, he was an assistant professor of government and public administration at Evangel College (now Evangel University) in Springfield, Missouri from 1980-1984. He later served colleges and universities in California, Arizona, and Ohio as a faculty member and administrator.

Duncan earned his PhD. in higher education from the University of Arizona in 2005; an M.A. in political science from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1979; his B.A. in government from Evangel College in 1975; and a course of study in preparation for Anglican ordination with the Anglican Mission in the Americas in South Carolina. For the past 12 years he has remained active as a chaplain and pastor in religious communities in Missouri and Wisconsin.