Before and After: The American Election as it Happened

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By Clara Fong and T.D. Irdina

Before the Election: Tuesday

Obama vs. Romney – Neck to Neck

As one of the most closely contested presidential elections in decades, people all over the world have been watching the 2012 USA Presidential Election polls closely. There are two clear sides this year, the current Democratic president of the USA Barrack Obama hoping to be re-elected versus Mitt Romney, the Republican candidate.

For those out there that are unclear about the difference between Obama’s Democrats and Romney’s Republicans here are some key points:

 

Democrats

Republicans

Philosophy Liberal Conservative
Social/Human ideas Based on community and social responsibility Based on individual rights and justice
Economic Ideas Favour minimum wages and progressive taxation i.e. higher tax rates for higher income bracket Believe taxes shouldn’t be increased for anyone (including the wealthy) and that wages should be set by the free market.
Traditionally strong in States: California, Massachusetts Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas

Source

The US Presidential Elections run on the system of having ‘Electoral votes’. Each person of a State votes towards Representatives or ‘Electors’ who then vote for the party of their choice. The number of Electors each State has depends on the number of Representatives they have in Congress (the equivalent of Parliament), which is proportional to the State’s population.

Polls have shown that Obama has pulled ahead slightly of Romney. He has already won his first battle with 23 to 9 votes in Hart’s Location, New Hampshire and three out of the four of the swing states are leaning towards Obama. For Obama supporters, you might be relieved to know that he has a slight edge in the crucial swing state, Ohio, with Obama leading Romney 49.6% to 46.6%.

Current predictions for the Electoral College votes stand as:

Obama – 303 VS Romney – 220 (predicted by electoral-vote.com)

Obama – 277 VS Romney – 191 (predicted by Huffington Post)

Obama – 290 VS Romney – 248 (predicted by centreforpolitics.com)

Obama – 213 VS Romney – 325  (predicted by political commentator Dick Morris)

From the statistics available, Obama would be the man to place your bet on, although as this is the USA, anything could happen.

After the Results: Wednesday

President Again – How Did Obama Do It?

Much to everyone’s relief, Obama has been re-elected as the President of the United States. With 303 Electoral College votes, compared to 206 for Romney, it was a definite win for Obama. Out of the 9 swing states, Obama won over 7, including the crucial swing state of Ohio.

So, why did Obama win?

One of the reasons which experts believe is the widening wealth disparity in USA, which forced more Americans to vote for the Democrats. Romney would have implemented more policies to support the wealthier citizens, which would have taken the USA back to the Bush era.

The second reason is down to the support from the fast growing population of Latino voters. Mitt Romney ran a campaign that stressed hard-line policies against illegal immigration, giving their vote to Obama.

Karl Rove and other Republican strategists had advised the party to reach out to the country’s growing Latino population, as they risked failing in elections if they did not. Mitt Romney ignored this strategy and instead ran a Primary campaign that focused on the hard-line rules against illegal immigration. He managed to succeed in outflanking Texan Gov. Rick Perry, the goal of his campaign, but this cost him the votes of the Latino population.

Thirdly, the Democratic Party campaigned to ensure that their supporters would turn up to the polling stations by motivating, and appealing to them. True, the Republicans also put out strategies to encourage their supporters to actually go out and vote, but the Obama has been far more successful. As an example of this, Obama has a web page on the popular social networking website, Tumblr, which is updated by those working for him, and this encouraged young eligible voters to show up at the elections.

Voters have taken into account the policies of President Obama and the Democratic Party. It was a close call, with 50% of the popular vote going to Obama and 49% going to Romney. However, the United States of America have chosen Obama to uphold their beliefs and lead them through the next four years, and the world waits to see the outcome of this decision.

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