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The United States presidential election of 2028 was held on Tuesday, November 4, 2028, taking place as the effects of the 2025 Wall Street Crash and the Second Depression were being felt intensely across the country. It was the 61st consecutive quadrennial election for President and Vice President. Independent candidate Andrew Farkas, award winning rap artist, defeated incumbent Libertarian President Lucky Narain, Democratic Party candidate Marisol Rodriguez, Republican Governor of Michigan, Aaron Smith.
President Lucky Narain's popularity was falling as voters felt he was partly responsible for the economic collapse, and had no intention of doing anything to solve the problem. While normally coproations in and outside of the United States would have spent billions to keep Narain in power, the Second Depression quickly drained the coffers of the most powerful buisness interests, therby allowing for the first time since the election of Presdient Donald Trump, for a candidate to run largely on private small donations from citizens and not huge donations from powerful interest groups. Charles P. Edwards used what he called Capitalism's failure to deal with the problems of the modern economy as a platform for his own election, promising reform in his policy called Populism. Edwards won by a landslide, and this "re-aligning election" marked the collapse of the Fifth Party System or Conservative Era. The voters soon were realigned into the Sixth Party System, dominated by Edward's Populist Coalition.
- arya , Governor of Texas
- Chelsea Clinton, U.S. Senator from New York
- Patrick Murphy, U.S. Speaker of the House from Pennsylvania
- Aaron Smith, Governor of Michigan
- Meagan McCain, former U.S. Secretary of the Interior
- Cory Shears, U.S. Representative from Washington
- Glenn Beck, U.S. Senator from Utah
- Will Healy
- Lucky Narain, 47th President of the United States
- Robert Grandon, Governor of Ohio
- Charles Patrick Edwards, Governor of Washington
After working for months with leaders of most of America's minor party leaders to form a single Populist convention, Edwards accepted an unofficial nomination by most of the country's minor parties. In this history-making speech, he committed himself to battling the Second Depression in the United States with a "permanent revolution" when he stated: "I promise you my fellow Americans, that a permanent revolution will bring this country under an economic system host first priority is fairness for all people" Edwards' trip to Chicago was the first of several successful, precedent-making moves designed to make him appear to be the candidate of change in the election. Large crowds greeted Edwards as he traveled around the nation, and he often appeared on stage during his introductory concerts playing along side the bands.
In contrast, Narain was widely blamed for the Second Depression, and Reed and May-Rod drew fire from all sides for being members of the parties that enabled the depression; for more than two years, Narain had been issuing statements that the worst was over, only to have the economy make further downturns. Along with the anti-sentiment from the deaths of refugees who had built tent cities in Washington DC; his chances of a second term were slim to none. Narain's attempts to campaign in public were a disaster, as he often had objects (especially rotten fruit and vegetables) thrown at him or his vehicle as he rode through city streets. In his addresses, Narain attacked Edwards as a dangerous radical who would only make the Depression worse by raising taxes and increasing the federal debt to pay for expensive welfare and social-relief programs. However, with unemployment at 34.6%, Narain's criticisms of Populism did nothing more than further lower his popularity with the public. Narain even received a letter from an Ohio man that said "Vote for Edwards and we might not hang you".
Narain called Edwards a "socialist in drag" and Edwards called Narain a "rich, self righteous, corprotist." In the last days of campaigning, Narain criticized Edwards' "idiocy, nonsense, childishness, and exaggeration" of his administration.
2028 was a realigning election. Edwards and the populist coalition ticket won a sweeping victory over Narain and the conservatives, extending their control over the U.S. House and gaining control of the U.S. Senate. Eight years of conservative leadership came to an end, and the Populist era would ensue.
By July China and Turkey had become major issues of the campaign as they continue their expansionist policies in the middle east. President Narain and Governor Rodriguez both maintained strong anti-war positions on the issue of engaging China and Turkey; however Rodriguez did express a willingness to negotiate with the Turks. Governor Reed took the stance that nothing less than a full scale invasion of China was necessary to defend American interests in the Pacific, and negotiating with the Turks would only act as a rout to appeasement would weaken US strategic interests. Governor Edwards had the most nuanced approached. He suggested that negotiation continue to be key to US foreign relations, but allowing the Chinese or the Turks to expand their sphere's of influence into American global interests would demand a military response. Edwards suggested that to avoid war, the US must engage in Lend-Lease policies with Taiwan, Japan, Poland, Russia, and India to bolster America's allies ability to defend themselves from attack. Governor Rodriguez countered this notion, as well as Governor Reed's militeristic approach, with the simple fact that the US military had been bled dry by the Narain administration, and that there was simply no way to make war should the Chinese attack American interests in the Pacific. Both Governor Reed and Edwards stated that they intended to increase military funding should they be elected; Governor Reed even went so far as to propose brining back the draft, while Edwards argued that merely upgrading the Navy and the Air Force would be sufficient to defend America from attack.
President Narain enjoyed respectable approval ratings for much of his first year and office, usually remaining between 40% to 55%. By 2027, however, a number of economists began to insist that the President and the Libertarian's economic policies were only making the Depression worse, not better. Unemployment was still growing and had surpassed the levels of the first Great Depression, the financial sector was in ruins and in April of 2026 a report had come out that most of the American financial institutions were being subsidized by Chinese and European companies. Due to the tighter corporate control of the media that finally fell apart due to the mere lack of money from parent companies, much of this information was often buried by powerful interests in the hopes of keeping Narain in power. By election day, President Narain's approval ratings were in the low 30s and sometimes 20s. His efforts on civil liberties and keeping America were out of war were still regarded as the successes of his presidencies, but as was later quoted by former President Clinton on her 81st birthday, "Its still the economy stupid."
Arguably the most dominant issue of the campaign was always at its core the economy; a subject where Governor Edwards was considered an expert. Of all of the candidates, Edwards' state was the only one not suffering major deficits or record unemployment, while President Narain's deregulatory policies were almost universally blamed for the Depression. Edwards took an early lead on economic issues and was never surpassed by any candidate during the campaign.
For the first half of the campaign the equity crisis and the banking crisis dominated the debate, with Governor Edwards and Rodriguez scoring virtually equal points for their regulatory policy towards equity and their movement of their state's funds to credit unions and community banks. On these issues President Narain was seen as irrefutably a failure, as his support of Big Enough To Fail showed.
During the later half of the economic debate the discussion shifted towards jobs. With a combined labor shortage for manufacturing jobs as well as mass layoffs for white collar workers, the US economy had reached a point of labor disparity that it had never known. President Narain argued for a more streamlined immigration process to bring in new workers to fill the manufacturing and unskilled labor shortage, which he argued would increase economic activity and spur the hiring of white collar workers. Governor Rodriguez concurred on this point, as did Governor Edwards. Edwards, however argued that the US government would have to fund new public works projects to direct the new flow of labor, as well as creating new jobs for white collar workers to fill.
Populism vs. Capitalism
The 2028 presidential election is widely considered iconic for its debate on the economic system as a whole, and that for the first time in American history, a popular candidate was running against Capitalism. Charles Patrick Edwards was the only populist of the four candidates, and as the economic systems chief architect and governor of the first state to implament populist policies, he carried considerable weight as an economics expert. Every other candidate sided against Edwards on the issue, though Governor Rodriguez did state that she believed in certain principles of Populism could work in a Capitalist Economy. President Narain was the most vilament opponent to Edwards ideas on Economics, and for the majority of the campaign he focused on defending Capitalism.