The United States Elections
- How is the american president elected ?
First, The President and Vice-President are elected every four years. They must be at least 35 years of age, they must be native-born citizens of the United States, and they must have been residents of the U.S. for at least 14 years.
Then, Most political parties hold conventions, which are large meetings attended by « delegates. » Some delegates are selected by state « primary » elections, some are selected by state caucuses and some are chosen for their prominence in the party. A majority of delegate votes is needed to win the party’s nomination. In most cases, the delegates let their chosen presidential candidate select a vice-presidential candidate. In the general election, each candidate for President runs together with a candidate for Vice-President on a « ticket. » Voters select one ticket to vote for; they can’t choose a presidential candidate from one ticket and a vice-presidential candidate from another ticket.
The national presidential election actually consists of a separate election in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia; in these 51 elections, the voters are really
voting for « electors » pledged to one of the tickets.
These electors make up the « Electoral College. »
Each state has the same number of electors as it has senators and representatives (there are two senators from each state, but the number of representatives depends on the state population in the most recent census). The District of Columbia, although it isn’t a state, also participates in presidential elections — it currently has three electors.
The Electoral College then votes for President and for Vice-President, with each elector casting one vote; these votes are called electoral votes. Each elector is pledged to vote for particular candidates for President and Vice-President. In most elections, all the electors vote in accordance with the pledge they made; it is not clear what would happen in the unlikely event that a large number of electors violated their pledge and voted differently. Normally, one of the candidates for President receives a majority (more than half) of the electoral votes; that person is elected President. That candidate’s vice-presidential running mate will then also receive a majority of electoral votes (for Vice-President), and that person is elected Vice-President. In the rare event that no presidential candidate receives a majority of the electoral votes, then the President is chosen instead by the House of Representatives, from the top three presidential vote-getters in the Electoral College; each state delegation in Congress casts one vote. (The Vice-President would be chosen from the top two vice-presidential vote-getters by the Senate.)
There are many arguments pro and con the Electoral College, but this system does guarantee that the person elected President has substantial support distributed throughout the U.S. The Electoral College has also been a major factor in the United States’ long-term political stability.
- The two candidates :
A) B.Obama :
Born on August 4, 1961, in Honolulu, Hawaii, Barack Hussein Obama is the 44th and current president of the United States.
He was a civil-rights lawyer and teacher before pursuing a political career.
He was elected to the Illinois State Senate in 1996, serving from 1997 to 2004. He was elected to the U.S. presidency in 2008, and won re-election in 2012 against Republican challenger Mitt Romney.
President Obama continues to enact policy changes in response to the issues of health care and economic crisis.
He is from the democratical political party.
His most known slogans are : « Yes we can ! »
« Vote for Change »
« It’s about Time. It’s about Change »
« Obama for America »
1. The role Obama’s race will play in voters’ decisions; « How much does his race factor into tightening contests in Missouri, Wisconsin, Florida, Minnesota and Ohio? Nobody knows — and that’s the problem. » [Note: The races are nottightening because people are gaining confidence in Obama.]
2. « Obama’s strength in Virginia may be overhyped« ; Obama staffers look at the state as a 50-50 proposition, but his odds of winning may be less than that. [If Obama doesn't do very well in the DC suburbs, he will lose VA.]
3. « Michigan’s in play for McCain« ; the Democrats probably can’t win without Michigan. There, « McCain has quietly crept up over the past month and could vault ahead if he anoints ex-Gov. Mitt Romney as his running mate. » (Note: Michiganders would have much preferred Hillary Clinton as the candidate.)
4. Difficult economic times can engender fear among voters, and that could benefit McCain, who is more of a known quantity than Obama. (Note: Economics may not be McCain’s strong suit, but it also doesn’t look like an Obama strength.)
5. McCain doesn’t have to face the « Ross Perot factor » that helped Bill Clinton greatly in bringing down George H. W. Bush in 1992;
6. Obama is NOT a white Southerner with border-state strength, the only kind of a Democrat who has won the White House in the last 65 years (LBJ, Carter, and Clinton);
7. « Americans may WANT divided government« ; as one Democratic strategist puts it, « . . . Nobody wants a pair of Pelosis [Nancy and Barack] running things. »
Former Democratic Senator Bob Kerrey puts it this way: People « want change, but I’m not sure that the Democratic agenda has the support of a majority of Americans. »
Obama’s weak points :
1: President Barack Obama tops his main Republican rival in everything from personality to diplomacy – but when it comes to the economy, a new poll shows a potential weak spot in his bid to hold onto the White House.
2: As the general-election campaign comes into focus, conventional wisdom holds that President Obama is untouchable on national security.
B) M.Romney :
biography : Willard Mitt Romney (born March 12, 1947) is an American businessman who served as the 70th Governor of Massachusetts from 2003 to 2007. He was the Republican Party’s nominee for President of the United States in the 2012 election.
Raised in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, by his parents Lenore and George W. Romney, Mitt Romney spent two and a half years in France as a Mormon missionary starting in 1966. He married Ann Davies in 1969, with whom he has had five children. By 1971, Romney had participated in the political campaigns of both his parents. In that year, he earned a Bachelor of Arts from Brigham Young and in 1975, a joint Juris Doctor and Master of Business Administration from Harvard. Romney then entered the management consulting industry and in 1977 he secured a position at Bain & Company. Later serving as its chief executive officer, he helped lead the company out of financial crisis. In 1984, he cofounded and led the spin-off companyBain Capital, a highly profitable private equity investment firm that became one of the largest of its kind in the nation. His considerable net worth, estimated in 2012 at $190–250 million, helped finance his prior political campaigns.
Active in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Romney served during his business career as the bishop of his ward (head of his local congregation) and then stake president in his home area near Boston. After stepping down from Bain Capital and his local leadership role in the church, he ran as the Republican candidate in the 1994 Massachusetts election for U.S. Senate. Upon losing to longtime incumbent Ted Kennedy, he resumed his position at Bain Capital. Years later, a successful stint as President and CEO of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee for the 2002 Winter Olympics led to a relaunch of his political career.
Elected Governor of Massachusetts in 2002, Romney helped develop and enact into law the Massachusetts health care reform legislation, the first of its kind in the nation, which provided near-universal health insurance access through state-level subsidies and individual mandates to purchase insurance. He also presided over the elimination of a projected $1.2–1.5 billion deficit through a combination of spending cuts, increased fees, and the closure of corporate tax loopholes. Romney did not seek re-election in 2006, instead focusing on his campaign for the Republican nomination in the 2008 U.S. presidential election. He won several primaries and caucuses but lost the nomination to John McCain. In 2011, he began campaigning for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, eventually winning enough caucuses and primaries to be nominated with his chosen running mate, Representative Paul Ryan. Romney was defeated by incumbent President Barack Obama in the November 2012 general election.
His slogans are : « Believe in America. »
« You people are adequate. »
« Let them eat cake as long as they didn’t buy it with food stamps. »
Also, Romney is relativily strong on performance but weak on policy in sluggish debate.
- Find out the position of the two candidates on key election issues?
The major issues in Election 2012 are job creation and the economy, although conservative presidential and congressional candidates made social issues such as abortion and contraception part of their platforms.
Key Issues in the 2012 Presidential :
Gay Marriage : Obama announced he supports allowing same-sex couples to marry, drawing a clear distinction between himself and Romney and earning the president the symbolic label of « first gay president. »
Endorsements: Jeb Bush, Sarah Palin and Chris Christie were some of the most coveted endorsements of the 2012 Republican presidential battle. Find out who they backed during the primaries and whether it really mattered at all.
Wealth: How much each presidential was worth became an issue, particularly in the Republican primary when Romney’s substantial net worth was used to portray him as being out of touch with blue-collar voters. The front-runner for the GOP nomination was also criticized for being less than transparent in releasing his tax returns to the public.
Economy: Election 2012 was supposed to be about one thing: jobs, jobs, jobs. Read about plans put forth to create those jobs by Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, President Obama and the other candidates.
Abortion & Contraception: Perhaps the biggest surprise of the Republican primary was the emergence of social issues, particularly birth control, as dominant issues. The candidate who capitalized the most was clearly Santorum, whose credentials as a social conservative went unquestioned. Find out where the former U.S. senator stands on those important issues.
Immigration: President Obama struggled to achieve substantive immigration reform in his first term, and has promised to work toward that goal if voters award him four more years in the White House. Obama’s prospective Republican challengers have their own and in some cases very different ideas on immigration reform.
Foreign Policy: President Obama’s record on foreign policy during his first term has been described as a mixture of multilateralism and bold action. Santorum, meantime, has campaigned on foreign policy experience gained during his tenure as a U.S. senator. Romney’s positions, meantime, are strikingly similar to those held by Obama.
Online Piracy: Lawmakers were debating legislation that would give the federal government broad new powers to crack down on foreign websites that distribute pirated movies, music and other products. A pair of bills, SOPA and PIPA, generated lots of controversy.
Keystone Pipeline: The controversial plan to build a $7 billion pipeline to carry oil from Canada to Texas Gulf Coast refineries became part of the Election 2012 debate, particularly when it came to how many jobs the project would really create.
Taxing Millionaires: President Obama and Republicans in Congress differed over the so-called Buffett Rule, a plan outlined in the State of the Union address to raise taxes on Americans who earn more than $1 million a year but pay a smaller portion of their earnings to the government than do middle-class workers. The two sides managed to reach a measure of accord on reducing the payroll tax.
- Results :
Barack Obama won the elections with 303 electoral votes against M.romney wich has got 206 electoral votes.