Editor's note: On Jan. 6, Dairy Herd Network asked readers in an information poll who they thought would receive the Republican presidential nomination. Like the Reuters poll, the Dairy Herd Network poll showed that the majority of visitors (37 percent) expected Mitt Romney to win the nomination. Rick Santorum was the second most-likely with 20 percent of the votes. As of Friday, 143 people had responded.
U.S. farmers overwhelmingly support a Republican to be the next president, despite a strong farm economy during President Barack Obama's Administration, according to a Reuters survey released last week.
The farmers give a slight edge to Mitt Romney over Rick Santorum as the best person to take on Obama and the Democrats in the November elections.
Some 74.7 percent of farmers and ranchers intend to vote for a Republican as president, according to a random survey of 462 farmers and ranchers at the American Farm Bureau Federation's annual meeting last week in Honolulu.
While traditionally socially and fiscally conservative, only 3.5 percent of the group said they would back Obama. Some 20 percent said they were still undecided, however.
"Barack Obama is leading the country to possible destruction," Danny Mills of Accomack County, Va., said, explaining that he believes government borrowing and spending got out of control under President George W. Bush but that Obama has not done enough to reign it in.
"This is totally unsustainable," he said.
In 2008 when Reuters conducted a similar poll at the convention, both parties were still going through the nomination process. But Obama and Hillary Clinton garnered support of only 5 percent each. Republicans Mike Huckabee got 30 percent and John McCain, the eventual nominee, came in at 29 percent.
Obama faces a tough re-election in a weak economy and would-be Republican challengers have decried his job-creating capability.
The farm economy, however, has been booming thanks to high crop prices and strong demand globally.
The government said last week the U.S. economy added 200,000 jobs in December and the unemployment rate fell to 8.5 percent, but Republicans say huge spending efforts such as the 2009 stimulus package have not turned the economy around fast enough.
In the race to challenge Obama, 30.5 percent of the 367 farmers who said they voted or will vote in a Republican primary this year backed Romney. Santorum, who lost last week's Iowa primary to Romney by just eight votes, came in second in the farm survey with 25.9 percent.