Presidential Elections 2012

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Presidential Elections 2012|
A Second Term for President Obama?|

Abstract: With the 2012 Presidential elections less than one year away, speculations are high on who will be the winning candidate. The Democratic Party’s candidate Barack Obama is the incumbent and has some significant advantages. The Republican Party’s candidate is still unknown and there has not been a clear front-runner. Based on readings, polls, and expert opinion, the chances of Obama winning a second term are quite high for the 2012 election. |

On Tuesday November 6th, 2012 the presidential elections will take place to determine who the 45th president of the United States of America will be, this upcoming election is also personally important because it will be the first time my voice can be counted towards our future. During the last election in 2008, I was only a couple months away from turning 18 and could not vote in addition to being in Egypt during the time. Now I will be able vote in accordance to both the legal voting age of 18 that the Constitution requires as well as the imagined voting age of 21 that Rick Perry has established. The primary candidate for the Democratic Party is the incumbent Barack Obama who is already advantageous and the primary candidate for the Republic Candidate is yet to be decided. The 2012 election is highly debated and its results are quite uncertain, with still a year left to go, it may be too early to predict who will win the presidential elections; but as of now, the Democratic Party seems to have the upper hand despite the current situations such as the economy, healthcare, and foreign policy.

As Christine Barbour and Gerald Wright indicate in the book “Keeping the Republic: Power and Citizenship in American Politics” the road to becoming president is just as hard as being president of the US. “Being president of the United States is undoubtedly a difficult challenge, but so is getting the job in the first place. It is a long, expensive, and grueling ‘road to the White House,’ as the media like to call it” (p.383) The race for the presidency begins unofficially with what are known as the ‘invisible primaries’ which is a period in which a candidate sets himself up for popular support. During this time, the candidate tries to gain name recognition, popular support, positive media attention and finances for the campaign. The idea being that this gives your campaign a head start and gives you an advantage in the pre-nomination phase which is known as front loading. Front loading is various states fight to try to hold their primaries first in order to gain medium exposure and power over nomination; this begins in January and runs right though until the summer where the party formally announces their chosen candidate. The next steps are the primaries and the results of these in the different states determine the delegates who attend the National Party Convention. This stage of the campaign is the most expensive and fund-raising is vital. Only a candidate who has built up enough momentum during the ‘invisible primary’ and performs well in the early stages of the primary season will attract the funds required to keep their campaign going all the way through till the NPC. Once the candidates are chosen, with the backing of PAC’s, they go on to the General Election where the president will be elected. Many factors influence who is elected as president including party identification, interest groups, policy opinions and the media. Although party identification has been important in previous presidential elections, it does not seem to be the decisive factor in the upcoming election. Party identifications are also not a tell tale sign of the result of the election because it is highly malleable depending on events. Douglas Schwartz, the director of the Quinnipiac University poll says that: “Quinnipiac, however, believes that while party identification is relatively stable, it can change over time...
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