United States presidential election, 2012

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The 2012 United States Presidential Election when America is scheduled to pick a new president will take place on Tuesday, November 6, 2012. It will occur at the same time as elections to all seats in the House of Representatives and to one-third of the seats in the Senate. Incumbent Democratic president Barack Obama is presumed to be seeking re-election in this election, although liberal President Lyndon Johnson did voluntarily decline to run for reelection after his poor showing in the New Hampshire primary in 1968. A strong Republican candidate could win the election due to the low opinion of the Democratic Party held by most Americans.

The Republican Party nomination is expected to become a two-man race between Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich. Ron Paul may also run. Both Romney and Gingrich will use stalking horse candidates to try to prevent their opponent from gaining a majority, as McCain supporters used Fred Thompson in 2008. With Obama's declining popularity among independents, liberals and moderates, Hillary Clinton could run for the Democratic nomination.[1]

Beginning in January 2011, candidates will formally signal their intentions to run. Mitt Romney, for example, filed papers with the Federal Election Commission on Jan. 3, 2007, in order to seek election as president in 2008, and his early commitment became an advantage for him in fundraising and lining up endorsements.

The key early primaries are Iowa (caucuses), New Hampshire, Michigan and South Carolina.

The Chess Game for the Republican Party

There are three key steps to the Republican nomination: Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina. It's a chess game for Mitt and Newt to try to emerge from those three as the leader.

There are four basic components of the Republican Party. To win the nomination, a candidate needs to obtain the support of at least two out of four:[2]

  1. social conservatives (pro-life, pro-marriage, pro-Republican Party platform)
  2. libertarians (lower taxes, less government, pro-business, anti-union)
  3. religious voters (Baptists, Presbyterians, Catholics, evangelicals, Mormons)
  4. neoconservatives (foreign intervention, "better" government)

In 2008, John McCain won the nomination by capturing the support of 1 and 4 above. Ron Paul had the support of 2. Mitt Romney enjoyed support by 2 and part of 3. Mike Huckabee had support of 1 and part of 3. The division of 3 by Romney and Huckabee caused them to block each other: Huckabee blocked Romney in Iowa, and Romney returned the favor in New Hampshire. This dynamic prevented either from winning the nomination.

In 2000, George Bush won with the support of 1 and 3. But John McCain enjoyed the support from 2 and 4 and this enabled him to win the New Hampshire and Michigan primaries, giving Bush a close contest. Some felt McCain mishandled his victory in Michigan.

In 1980, Ronald Reagan had the support of 1 and 2.

Potential Republican Candidates

Candidate Pros Cons Fox News Exposure
Newt Gingrich Articulate, credited with 1994 landslide, balanced the federal budget in the Clinton era, leader in fundraising, likely to obtain endorsement of older "right to life" groups against Mitt[3] Struggled to win reelections in his own congressional district; has previously endorsed liberal ideas like "cap-and-trade" (global warming hoax) and a Con Con; resigned as Speaker rather than follow through with the impeachment of Bill Clinton; divorced twice and married three times, most recently to a women 23 years younger than he. Promoted heavily by Fox
Mitt Romney First runner-up in 2008, business experience, Republican governor of a Democratic state, prodigious fundraiser Once supported abortion and civil unions; his costly health care plan included mandatory insurance and became the model for ObamaCare; won only 15% in the South Carolina primary in 2008 Occasionally on Fox, which prefers Newt
Ron Paul won the CPAC poll, is strong in national polls, can raise the money needed to win; people may look to an anti-war Republican his age (76 in 2012) will be used against him, but may not sway many voters against him Fox opposes him because he opposes the war
Sarah Palin Empathetic, attracts crowds, pro-life, fiscal conservative, popular, track record of supporting upset victories in primaries Resigned early as governor; could be a stalking horse for Newt Gingrich; lags in fundraising despite publicity[3] Promoted by Fox
Michele Bachmann A movement conservative who is popular in a Democratic region and with the Tea Party movement As with Ronald Reagan, liberal bias is at its worst against her; she's said she's not running for president this soon[4] and pulled out of the "Value Voters Summit" (Family Research Council convention) straw poll in September 2010. On Fox as she's in the news
John Thune Defeated Tom Daschle, relatively conservative voting record for a senator; also taller than Obama, and enjoys broad support May lack an essential "fire in the belly";[5] voted for TARP financial bailout[6] and McCain-Feingold campaign finance; no-show at some conservative events; hasn't effectively criticized Obama. Rarely allowed on Fox
Marco Rubio A rising young star in Florida, a key swing state; an electrifying speaker Will face liberal double standard: what's OK for Obama (e.g., inexperience) is somehow not OK for a conservative On Fox in connection with Senate bid
Rand Paul heir-apparent to massive support for Ron Paul needs to win the Kentucky U.S. Senate seat first Rarely allowed on Fox, had to go on the liberal MSNBC instead
Steve King A conservative Iowa congressman who could win the Iowa caucuses; resonates well with independents; recommended by Bachmann[4] Not well known yet Rarely allowed on Fox
Mike Huckabee Pro-life, pro-Second Amendment and pro-Bible; strong in polling, particularly among evangelicals Could be a stalking horse for Newt; also supporter of big government, and as governor released man who later killed officers Promoted by Fox
Ken Cuccinelli Has won statewide office. Leader in challenging ObamaCare, advancing pro-life principles, and opposing the global warming hoax, including investigating Liberal University of Virginia's involvement in the Climategate scandal. Wants to stop the homosexual agenda prevalent at the University of Virginia and other Virginia universities. Only 42 years old, he'll probably become governor of Virginia before running for president. Not as frequent a speaker at Tea Party events as others, such as Steve King and Michele Bachmann. Also, Cuccinelli may be more influential on domestic policy in his current position than a president is. On Fox because he's been so newsworthy
Chris Christie True fiscal reformer, puts liberals in their place, rising star Picked a pro-abortion running mate when he ran for governor, and has little experience with national issues; has said he is not going to run; campaigned for RINO Mike Castle in Delaware Promoted heavily by Fox
Jan Brewer Stands up to Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama on issue of illegal aliens May be too busy as Governor of Arizona to run for president; lacks an image on issues other than immigration, and single-issue (immigration) candidates can rarely win a presidential nomination Rupert Murdoch, owner of Fox News, has embraced amnesty
Tim Pawlenty Young; popular in his home state of Minnesota Still not well known outside of Minnesota; accepted stimulus funds after arguing against them Sometimes on Fox
Scott Brown Proven ability to appeal to moderate voters even in blue states Inexperience; already voting with the Democrats in the Senate Has been on Fox
Rick Santorum Outspoken supporter of conservative values as a senator, well-received by Iowan evangelicals at campaign-like event in March 2010 His all-out support of RINO and now-Democrat Arlen Specter prevented Pat Toomey from defeating him in 2002, and Santorum endorsed Romney for President in 2008; could simply be a stalking horse for Romney Promoted on Fox
Mitch Daniels Rust Belt Governor, effective critic of the Obama administration Unknown nationally, criticized when he tried to downplay significance of social issues Rarely allowed on Fox
Jeb Bush More conservative than his brother George W. Bush, and popular in pivotal Florida; criticized Palin as a rival candidate might[7] Says he's not running, and could have been tagged with negatives via George; not liked by many Tea Partiers; why not wait and defeat Hillary in 2016 or 2020? Rarely appears on Fox
Jim Demint strong support by social conservatives, libertarians[8], Tea Party, and evangelicals; a tenacious advocate willing to criticize Obama stated at a conservative conference in July 2010 that he is not running for president; a Southern conservative who will need to work hard to gain support in Iowa and New Hampshire, the key early primary states[9] Often appears on Fox
Todd Akin A movement conservative from Missouri, which he serves as a congressman Not well known yet Rarely allowed on Fox`
Bob McDonnell Won landslide election as Virginia governor; has Obama's height Not widely known yet, but gave Republican response to State of the Union; seemed more conservative as a candidate than as governor Rarely allowed on Fox
Rudy Giuliani Widely respected for his post-9/11 leadership in New York City Struck out completely as a candidate in 2008; very weak on important social issues; cross-dressing for comedic purposes when it suited him Frequently on Fox
Dick Cheney Prominent and consistent opposition to Obama Of dubious health; has explicitly disavowed interest in running Has been on Fox; Daughter is a commentator for Fox
John Bolton Expert on foreign policy and national security issues [10] Polarizing figure that Democrats refused to appoint to permanent UN position Frequently on Fox
Mike Pence Communicates a very strong conservative message. "a Christian, a conservative and a Republican, in that order." Won straw poll held at the Values Voter Summit. Not widely known yet Sometimes on Fox

Potential Democratic Candidates

Candidate Pros Cons MSNBC exposure
Evan Bayh Democratic base sees Bayh's retirement from the Senate as "a symbol of what's wrong with the party" as moderates are increasingly marginalized. [11] Lags behind Obama in fundraising. [2] Has appeared on MSNBC
Hillary Clinton Kennedy and Reid can't stop her now, and she would be 71 if she waited until 2016; highest approval ratings of any potential challenger.[12] Testing the waters with Bill backing a challenger to Obama's Colorado Senate candidate, and by Hillary saying she won't serve a second term as Obama's Secretary of State. Watching to see if Obama's approval ratings decline further. Her feminism is not wanted and she'd lose as Martha Coakley did Disfavored on MSNBC
Barack Obama He's not Hillary Clinton, and he receives biased support from the media He depends on a teleprompter to speak, and has run the nation into the ground Heavily promoted on MSNBC


  1. Peter Roff, A Hillary Clinton Primary Challenge to Obama in 2012?, USNews and World Report, January 27, 2010.
  2. Traditionally commentators have referred to the three legs of the Republican Party: the values voters, the small businessmen, and the national security supporters. While that model still has support, it fails to account for recent shifts (such as the Tea Party Movement) and the impact of new media (such as FoxNews).
  3. 3.0 3.1 http://www.usnews.com/blogs/robert-schlesinger/2010/04/19/sarah-palin-lags-in-2012-fundraising-primary.html
  4. 4.0 4.1 http://www.siouxcityjournal.com/app/blogs/politically_speaking/?p=1205
  5. http://voices.washingtonpost.com/thefix/eye-on-2012/assessing-john-thunes-2012-cha.html?referrer=emaillink
  6. http://hoghouseblog.com/2009/09/01/thune-wants-to-end-bailout-he-voted-for/
  7. In a Newsmax interview in February 2010, Jeb criticized Palin by saying, "my belief is in 2010 and 2012, public leaders need to have intellectual curiosity." [1]
  8. Jim Demint has the best favorable-unfavorable rating of anyone at CPAC 2010.
  9. http://politics.theatlantic.com/2010/02/the_2012_dark_horse_is.php
  10. POLITICAL INSIDER: John Bolton weighs a WH run, Breitbart, September 10, 2010
  11. Evan Bayh For President? Senator May Be Eyeing White House Run, Ryan Grim, Huffington Post, 02-15-10.
  12. 58% View Hillary Clinton Favorably, January 19, 2010. Retrieved February 15, 2010.

See also