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United States Presidential Election, 2012

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United States Presidential Election, 2012

‹ 2008 2016 ›
United States Presidential Election, 2012
November 6, 2016
Romney
Barack Obama
Nominee Mitt Romney Barack Obama
Party Republican Democrat
Home state Massachusetts Illinois
Running mate Paul Ryan Joe Biden
Electoral vote 297 241
States carried 31 19 + DC
Percentage 51.3% 48.7%
2012map

The United States presidential election of 2012 was held on Tuesday, November 6, 2012. It was the 57th consecutive quadrennial United States presidential election. The election took place as President Barack Obama entered his fourth year as president. Obama's opponent was former governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney. The race was extremely close until the last four days, in which Romney took the lead and pulled off a surprise victory, coming from behind President Obama to win the presidency.The economy and Medicare Reform dominated the campaigns' focus.

Romney's turnaround came at an extremely critical debate, in which he performed excellently. He had great one-liners, some of which were, "Can we afford four more years of this?", "What has Obama done for you?", and multiple plays on Obama's condemning statement, "You didn't build that." Combined with a gargantuan ad campaign, the debate performance completely flipped the race and caused millions of Americans to rethink their votes.

President Mitt Romney defeated his challenger Barack Obama. Nine states changed allegiance from the 2008 election. Each had voted for President Barack Obama in 2008 and contributed to Romney's 2012 victory. The selected electors from each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia voted for President and Vice President of the United States on December 15, 2012. Those votes were tallied before a joint session of Congress on January 8, 2013. Romney received 297 electoral votes, Obama received 241.



Republican Primaries

The Republican Primaries of 2012 were extremely competitive and divisive. From the very start, Mitt Romney looked like the one to claim the nomination, but challenger after challenger rose up to contest him. The first threat came from Rick Perry, Governor of Texas, who had joined the race after pleads from the conservative base. Perry held a lead over Romney for much of September, until he slipped up in a debate performance. Next to rise was Herman Cain, whose 9-9-9 flat tax plan was attractive to voters. He stayed at the top until allegations of sexual misconduct arose. Then, Newt Gingrich appeared out of the dust and led the pack until about a week before the Iowa Caucus. He descended from power after a constant barrage of negative ads from each of his major competitors: Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, and Rick Santorum. Rick Santorum had a last minute surge and narrowly took the Iowa Caucus by 32 votes. Mitt Romney claimed second place. Then, Romney had a blowout victory in New Hamphshire, winning by over 10 percent. However, though he had an early lead in South Carolina, Newt Gingrich crushed Romney in two debates, winning the SC Primary by an even larger margin than Romney won New Hamphshire. No clear frontrunner had come forth after the three early contests.

Newt Gingrich held the lead in Florida for a few days, but an amazing debate performance by Mitt Romney surged him back to the top. A brutal ad campaign commenced from both candidates, but Romney triumphed and won Florida by 16%. Next, Romney took Nevada by over 20%. Though Gingrich was finished, most of his conservative support switched to Rick Santorum, who then swept the three states of Minnesota, Colorado, and Missouri in a surprise victory. These losses were a crushing blow to Romney's campaign, but they pushed forward and managed to edge out Ron Paul in Maine. Next was Michigan, Romney's native state. Though polling showed Rick Santorum leading Mitt by double digits there, Romney dug in deep and turned it around to a three-point nail-biter victory. He also won Arizona. Romney continued on to win the Wyoming and Washington Caucuses, looking like the unstoppable frontrunner before Super Tuesday. On Super Tuesday, Romney won Alaska, Idaho, Massachusetts, Vermont, and Virginia. He also beat Rick Santorum in Ohio by a slim margin of one percent. Newt Gingrich took Georgia, while Santorum took Tennessee, North Dakota, and Oklahoma. Even after Romney gained a large majority of delegates, his opponents pledged to press on to the convention. Worries arose that no candidate would reach the magic number of 1,144 delegates before the convention, forcing a brokered event. Such a competition would crush the Republicans' chances in November, it was said. However, after losing a few southern states, Romney won Illinois by a crushing margin, and beat Rick Santorum in Wisconsin. Rick Santorum decided it was time to stop and withdrew. Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul continued on a while longer, but it became clear that they could not deny Romney the nomination. Romney moved on to victory to compete with the President: Barack Obama. He had finally unified the party. Romney later announced his running mate to be Paul Ryan.

Background

In 2008, Barack Obama won the election, defeating John McCain, the Republican nominee. The democrats also gained a supermajority in Congress.

Obama's approval ratings started out very high, but after the first year of his presidency, it became clear that he could not fix the economy. After wasting hundreds of billions on the failed Stimulus bill, the economy had actually gotten worse. His job approval ratings dropped drastically before 2010, lowering to about a -8 margin. As a result of this, Republicans gained control of the House and nearly seized the Senate. Obama's job ratings continued to dwindle all the way to November 6th, 2012.

Election Results

Results by State

# State Winner Electoral
1 Alabama Romney/Ryan 9
2 Alaska Romney/Ryan 3
3 Arizona Romney/Ryan 11
4 Arkansas Romney/Ryan 6
5 California Obama/Biden 55
6 Colorado Romney/Ryan 9
7 Connecticut Obama/Biden 7
8 Delaware Obama/Biden 3
9 Florida Romney/Ryan 29
10 Georgia Romney/Ryan 16
11 Hawaii Obama/Biden 4
12 Idaho Romney/Ryan 4
13 Illinois Obama/Biden 20
14 Indiana Romney/Ryan 11
15 Iowa Romney/Ryan 6
16 Kansas Romney/Ryan 6
17 Kentucky Romney/Ryan 8
18 Louisiana Romney/Ryan 8
19 Maine Obama/Biden 4
20 Maryland Obama/Biden 10
21 Massachusetts Obama/Biden 11
22 Michigan Obama/Biden 16
23 Minnesota Obama/Biden 10
24 Mississippi Romney/Ryan 6
25 Missouri Romney/Ryan 10
26 Montana Romney/Ryan 3
27 Nebraska Romney/Ryan 5
28 Nevada Obama/Biden 6
29 New Hampshire Obama/Biden 4
30 New Jersey Obama/Biden 14
31 New Mexico Obama/Biden 5
32 New York Obama/Biden 29
33 North Carolina Romney/Ryan 15
34 North Dakota Romney/Ryan 3
35 Ohio Romney/Ryan 18
36 Oklahoma Romney/Ryan 7
37 Oregon Obama/Biden 7
38 Pennsylvania Obama/Biden 20
39 Rhode Island Obama/Biden 4
40 South Carolina Romney/Ryan 9
41 South Dakota Romney/Ryan 3
42 Tennessee Romney/Ryan 11
43 Texas Romney/Ryan 38
44 Utah Romney/Ryan 6
45 Vermont Obama/Biden 3
46 Virginia Romney/Ryan 13
47 Washington Obama/Biden 12
48 West Virginia Romney/Ryan 5
49 Wisconsin Romney/Ryan 10
50 Wyoming Romney/Ryan 3
51 Washington, DC Obama/Biden 3

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