American Presidential Elections in 2012
Americans went to the voting polls on November 6 this year. At the time, the presidential candidates were Barrack Obama for the Democratic Party, and Mitt Romney for the Republican Party. Obama won the elections, guaranteeing him of a second term in office. Obama gained 332 electoral-college votes, over Romney’s 206 votes. Obama also had a slight edge over Romney in the popular vote. Obama won in key democratic states such as New York and California, as well as in his home state Illinois. . He also won in Ohio, Virginia, Wisconsin, New Hampshire, Colorado, Nevada, and Iowa. Perhaps his most surprising win was in Michigan and Massachusetts because of the connections that his challenger has with the state. Romney’s father was once a governor in Michigan, but it seems that this was not enough to compel people to vote for Romney. Obama won in Florida by a remarkably small percentage, and the elections there were almost tied between the two candidates. Other states where Obama registered victory were Oregon, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Washington, New Mexico, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Hawaii, Vermont, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Maine, and the District of Columbia.
It is my opinion that Obama won because of his transparency with the people. He was willing to tell the people the real situation that the country is going through, and he did not hide or fabricate any details. Obama could have chosen to dwell on his achievements, or continue looking for people to blame in order to explain why he had not managed to keep his promises. Instead, he chose to focus on the future and look for solutions to the prevailing problems in America. Another factor, which contributed to Obama’s victory, was his decision to engage the young voters, most of whom other candidates often neglect. He utilized the avenues he knew he would reach them, and this included the use of different social media sites. I think that these two factors contributed to Obama’s victory. They showed the connection he had with the people, and they made the people know that he was aware of their problems. The main thing that was unexpected was the fact that the president won the elections at the current economic situation. Economic problems including the recession and unemployment were main topics during the campaigns, and as some critics had pointed out then, this would be a crucial determining factor in the race.
Perhaps the main lesson in the 2012 elections was the importance of considering all the voters regardless of their age, gender, religion, race, or ethnicity. The Republican Party had underestimated the powerful presence of the Latina vote, and in so doing, they lost a chance to woo a substantial group of electorate. Most of the voters in America are white, and according to demographics, Romney had the support of most white voters. Therefore, this means that he did not manage to engage the changing demographics in America. He depended too much on the traditional while male Christian values of most republicans, and he did not consider the changing demographics. Whites have become more liberal, and one can no longer depend on a single factor such as race in order to determine the elections. Most Christians have become more liberal, and it is likely that a significant number of them chose to vote for Obama because of his democratic principles, which recognized the importance of freedom in making decisions such as abortion.
The president also won on account of women and youth voters. Most of the voters in these two groups elected him because they felt that he had addressed their issues adequately during the campaigns. Another lesson is the influence of the social media and the internet in determining the direction of the elections. Both presidential candidates utilized the internet a lot during their campaigns. This included sites such as twitter, Facebook, and Reddit among others. Obama used Reddit a lot, and this made him appeal to the younger voters and convince him to vote him in the elections.
The Republican Party learnt several lessons from the elections, including the power of the media in determining the direction that the elections will take. There were intense advertising campaigns from the democrats, which focused on the negative aspects of the Republican Party. The republicans took long to respond to the advert, and by the time they were doing so, the message passed on by the democrats was already engraved in people’s minds. The republicans spent a lot of money during the campaign period, but this did not pay off eventually. This is a lesson not only for the republicans, but also for other future political leaders. What a leader says to the people matters much more than the amount of money that he or she chooses to spend.
Obama’s popularity with the minority voters was evident as he received over 90% of the African American vote and about 70% of the Latino vote. Obama also won most of the votes from the blue-collar workers, worried about increases in their pay taxes, which was one of the proposals from the Republican Party. In addition, he won the votes from the white liberals and the younger voters, especially those under 35 years. He won 60% of the people under the age of thirty while those who voted for Romney in the same age group were 36%. The president narrowed the gap on the number of voters who voted for him, who are between 30-44 years. He got 52% of this vote while Romney got 45% of the votes in this age group. However, most of the people above 45 preferred to vote for Romney. Romney received 51% of the votes among voters aged 45-64. He also received more votes from the voters above sixty-five years. Fifty six percent of voters aged over 65 voted for Romney while 44% of voters in the same group voted for Obama. On the other hand, men, whites, and those with a high income voted for Romney.