All 538 electoral votes of the Electoral College
270 electoral votes needed to win
Presidential election results map. Blue denotes those won by Obama/Biden, red denotes states won by Romney/Ryan. Numbers indicate electoral votes allotted to the winner of each state.
2012 U.S. presidential election
The 2012 United States presidential election was the 57th quadrennial American presidential election, held on Tuesday, November 6, 2012. The Democratic nominee, President Barack Obama, and his running mate, Vice President Joe Biden, were elected to a second term. They defeated the Republican ticket of businessman and former Governor Mitt Romney of Massachusetts and Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin.
The election of president and vice president of the United States is an indirect election in which citizens of the United States who are registered to vote in one of the 50 U.S. states or in Washington, D.C. cast ballots not directly for those offices, but instead for members of the U.S. Electoral College, known as electors. These electors then in turn cast direct votes, known as electoral votes, for president, and for vice president. The candidate who receives an absolute majority of electoral votes is then elected to that office. If no candidate receives an absolute majority of the votes for President, the House of Representatives chooses the winner; if no one receives an absolute majority of the votes for Vice President, then the Senate chooses the winner.
The Democratic Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. Tracing its heritage back to Thomas Jefferson and James Madison's Democratic-Republican Party, the modern-day Democratic Party was founded around 1828 by supporters of Andrew Jackson, making it the world's oldest active political party.
The President of the United States (POTUS) is the head of state and head of government of the United States of America. The president directs the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces.
As the incumbent president, Obama secured the Democratic nomination with no serious opposition. The Republicans experienced a competitive primary. Romney was consistently competitive in the polls and won the support of many party leaders, but he faced challenges from a number of more conservative contenders. Romney clinched his party's nomination in May, defeating Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, and several other candidates.
American conservatism is a broad system of political beliefs in the United States that is characterized by respect for American traditions, republicanism, support for Judeo-Christian values, moral universalism, business, anti-communism, individualism, advocacy of American exceptionalism, and a defense of Western culture from the perceived threats posed by socialism, authoritarianism, and moral relativism. Liberty is a core value, as is with all major American parties. American conservatives consider individual liberty—within the bounds of American values—as the fundamental trait of democracy; this perspective contrasts with that of modern American liberals, who generally place a greater value on equality and social justice and emphasize the need for state intervention to achieve these goals. American conservatives believe in limiting government in size and scope, and in a balance between national government and states' rights. Apart from some libertarians, they tend to favor strong action in areas they believe to be within government's legitimate jurisdiction, particularly national defense and law enforcement. Social conservatives oppose abortion and favor restricting LGBT rights, while privileging traditional marriage and allowing voluntary school prayer.
Richard John Santorum is an American politician, attorney, author, and political commentator. A member of the Republican Party, he served as a United States Senator from Pennsylvania from 1995 to 2007 and was the Senate's third-ranking Republican from 2001 to 2007. Santorum ran for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, finishing second to Mitt Romney.
Newton Leroy Gingrich is an American politician, author, and historian who served as the 50th Speaker of the United States House of Representatives from 1995 to 1999. A member of the Republican Party, he was the U.S. Representative for Georgia's 6th congressional district from 1979 until his resignation in 1999. In 2012, Gingrich was a candidate for the presidential nomination of his party.
The campaigns focused heavily on domestic issues, and debate centered largely around sound responses to the Great Recession. Other issues included long-term federal budget issues, the future of social insurance programs, and the Affordable Care Act, Obama's marquee legislative program. Foreign policy was also discussed, including the phase-out of the Iraq War, military spending, the Iranian nuclear program, and appropriate counteractions to terrorism. The campaign was marked by a sharp rise in fundraising, including from nominally independent Super PACs.
The Great Recession was a period of general economic decline observed in world markets during the late 2000s and early 2010s. The scale and timing of the recession varied from country to country. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has concluded that the it had the most severe economic and financial meltdown ever since the Great Depression and it is frequently seen as the second worst downturn of all time.
The United States federal budget comprises the spending and revenues of the U.S. federal government. The budget is the financial representation of the priorities of the government, reflecting historical debates and competing economic philosophies. The government primarily spends on healthcare, retirement, and defense programs. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office provides extensive analysis of the budget and its economic effects. It has reported that the U.S. is facing a series of long-term financial challenges, as the population of the country ages and healthcare costs continue growing faster than the economy, leading to the debt held by the public exceeding GDP by 2030. The United States has the largest external debt in the world and the 14th largest government debt as % of GDP in the world.
Social insurance is any government-sponsored program with the following four characteristics:
Obama defeated Romney, winning a majority of both the popular vote and the Electoral College. Obama won 51.1% of the popular vote compared to Romney's 47.2%. Obama was the first incumbent since Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1944 to win reelection with fewer electoral votes and a lower popular vote percentage than had been won in the previous election, and was also the first two-term president since Ronald Reagan to win both his presidential bids with a majority of the nationwide popular vote. This is the most recent election in which a Democrat was elected President of the United States, and the last time that the popular vote winner was elected President, and the last time a majority of Americans voted for one candidate.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt, often referred to by his initials FDR, was an American statesman and political leader who served as the 32nd president of the United States from 1933 until his death in 1945. A member of the Democratic party, he won a record four presidential elections and became a central figure in world events during the first half of the 20th century. Roosevelt directed the federal government during most of the Great Depression, implementing his New Deal domestic agenda in response to the worst economic crisis in U.S. history. As a dominant leader of his party, he built the New Deal Coalition, which realigned American politics into the Fifth Party System and defined American liberalism throughout the middle third of the 20th century. His third and fourth terms were dominated by World War II. Roosevelt is widely considered to be one of the most important figures in American history, as well as among the most influential figures of the 20th century. Though he has been subject to substantial criticism, he is generally rated by scholars as one of the three greatest U.S. presidents, along with George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.
Ronald Wilson Reagan was an American politician who served as the 40th president of the United States from 1981 to 1989. Prior to his presidency, he was a Hollywood actor and union leader before serving as the 33rd governor of California from 1967 to 1975.
In 2011, several state legislatures passed new voting laws, especially pertaining to voter identification, with the stated purpose of combating voter fraud; the laws were attacked, however, by the Democratic Party as attempts to suppress voting among its supporters and to improve the Republican Party's presidential prospects. Florida, Georgia, Ohio,Tennessee, and West Virginia's state legislatures approved measures to shorten early voting periods. Florida and Iowa barred all felons from voting. Kansas, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin state legislatures passed laws requiring voters to have government-issued IDs before they could cast their ballots. This meant, typically, that people without driver's licenses or passports had to gain new forms of ID. Obama, the NAACP, and the Democratic Party fought against many of the new state laws. Former President Bill Clinton denounced them, saying, "There has never been in my lifetime, since we got rid of the poll tax and all the Jim Crow burdens on voting, the determined effort to limit the franchise that we see today". He was referring to Jim Crow laws passed in southern states near the turn of the twentieth century that disenfranchised most blacks from voting and excluded them from the political process for more than six decades. Clinton said the moves would effectively disenfranchise core voter blocs that trend liberal, including college students, Blacks, and Latinos. Rolling Stone magazine criticized the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) for lobbying in states to bring about these laws, to "solve" a problem that does not exist. The Obama campaign fought against the Ohio law, pushing for a petition and statewide referendum to repeal it in time for the 2012 election.
Florida is the southernmost contiguous state in the United States. The state is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the northwest by Alabama, to the north by Georgia, to the east by the Atlantic Ocean, and to the south by the Straits of Florida. Florida is the 22nd-most extensive, the 3rd-most populous, and the 8th-most densely populated of the U.S. states. Jacksonville is the most populous municipality in the state and the largest city by area in the contiguous United States. The Miami metropolitan area is Florida's most populous urban area. Tallahassee is the state's capital.
Georgia is a state in the Southeastern United States. It began as a British colony in 1733, the last and southernmost of the original Thirteen Colonies to be established. Named after King George II of Great Britain, the Province of Georgia covered the area from South Carolina south to Spanish Florida and west to French Louisiana at the Mississippi River. Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788. In 1802–1804, western Georgia was split to the Mississippi Territory, which later split to form Alabama with part of former West Florida in 1819. Georgia declared its secession from the Union on January 19, 1861, and was one of the original seven Confederate states. It was the last state to be restored to the Union, on July 15, 1870. Georgia is the 24th largest and the 8th most populous of the 50 United States. From 2007 to 2008, 14 of Georgia's counties ranked among the nation's 100 fastest-growing, second only to Texas. Georgia is known as the Peach State and the Empire State of the South. Atlanta, the state's capital and most populous city, has been named a global city. Atlanta's metropolitan area contains about 55% of the population of the entire state.
Ohio is a Midwestern state in the Great Lakes region of the United States. Of the fifty states, it is the 34th largest by area, the seventh most populous, and the tenth most densely populated. The state's capital and largest city is Columbus.
In addition, the Pennsylvania legislature proposed a plan to change its representation in the electoral college from the traditional winner-take-all model to a district-by-district model.As the governorship and both houses of its legislature were Republican-controlled, the move was viewed by some as an attempt to reduce Democratic chances.
Pennsylvania, officially the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, is a state located in the northeastern, Great Lakes and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The Appalachian Mountains run through its middle. The Commonwealth is bordered by Delaware to the southeast, Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, Lake Erie and the Canadian province of Ontario to the northwest, New York to the north, and New Jersey to the east.
With an incumbent president running for re-election against token opposition, the race for the Democratic nomination was largely uneventful. The nomination process consisted of primaries and caucuses, held by the 50 states, as well as Guam, Puerto Rico, Washington, D.C., U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and Democrats Abroad. Additionally, high-ranking party members known as superdelegates each received one vote in the convention. A few of the primary challengers surpassed the president's vote total in individual counties in several of the seven contested primaries, though none made a significant impact in the delegate count. Running unopposed everywhere else, President Obama cemented his status as the Democratic presumptive nominee on April 3, 2012, by securing the minimum number of pledged delegates needed to obtain the nomination.
|Democratic Party ticket, 2012|
|Barack Obama||Joe Biden|
|for President||for Vice President|
| 44th |
President of the United States
| 47th |
Vice President of the United States
Candidates with considerable name recognition who entered the race for the Republican presidential nomination in the early stages of the primary campaign included Representative and former Libertarian nominee Ron Paul, former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, who co-chaired John McCain's campaign in 2008, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, the runner-up for the nomination in the 2008 cycle, and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich.
The first debate took place on May 5, 2011, in Greenville, South Carolina, with businessman Herman Cain, former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, Ron Paul, Tim Pawlenty, and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum participating. Another debate took place a month later, with Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman, and Rep. Michele Bachmann participating, and Gary Johnson excluded. A total of thirteen debates were held before the Iowa caucuses.
The first major event of the campaign was the Ames Straw Poll, which took place in Iowa on August 13, 2011. Michele Bachmann won the straw poll (this ultimately proved to be the acme of her campaign).Pawlenty withdrew from the race after a poor showing in the straw poll, as did Thaddeus McCotter, the only candidate among those who qualified for the ballot who was refused entrance into the debate.
It became clear at around this point in the nomination process that while Romney was considered to be the likely nominee by the Republican establishment, a large segment of the conservative primary electorate found him to be too moderate for their political views. As a result, a number of potential "anti-Romney" candidates were put forward,including future President Donald Trump, Sarah Palin, Chris Christie, and Texas Governor Rick Perry, the last of whom decided to run in August 2011. Perry did poorly in the debates, however, and Herman Cain and then Newt Gingrich came into the fore in October and November.
Due to a number of scandals, Cain withdrew just before the end of the year, after having gotten on the ballot in several states.Around the same time, Johnson, who had been able to get into only one other debate, withdrew to seek the Libertarian Party nomination.
For the first time in modern Republican Party history, three different candidates won the first three state contests in January (the Iowa caucuses, the New Hampshire primary, and the South Carolina primary).Although Romney had been expected to win in at least Iowa and New Hampshire, Rick Santorum won the non-binding poll at caucus sites in Iowa by 34 votes, as near as can be determined from the incomplete tally, earning him a declaration as winner by state party leaders, although vote totals were missing from eight precincts. The election of county delegates at the caucuses would eventually lead to Ron Paul earning 22 of the 28 Iowa delegates to the Republican National Convention. Newt Gingrich won South Carolina by a surprisingly large margin, and Romney won only in New Hampshire.
A number of candidates dropped out at this point in the nomination process. Bachmann withdrew after finishing sixth in the Iowa caucuses,Huntsman withdrew after coming in third in New Hampshire, and Perry withdrew when polls showed him drawing low numbers in South Carolina.
Santorum, who had previously run an essentially one-state campaign in Iowa, was able to organize a national campaign after his surprising victory there. He unexpectedly carried three states in a row on February 7 and overtook Romney in nationwide opinion polls, becoming the only candidate in the race to effectively challenge the notion that Romney was the inevitable nominee.However, Romney won all of the other contests between South Carolina and the Super Tuesday primaries, and regained his first-place status in nationwide opinion polls by the end of February.
The Super Tuesday primaries took place on March 6. Romney carried six states, Santorum carried three, and Gingrich won only in his home state of Georgia.Throughout the rest of March, 266 delegates were allocated in 12 events, including the territorial contests and the first local conventions that allocated delegates (Wyoming's county conventions). Santorum won Kansas and three Southern primaries, but he was unable to make any substantial gain on Romney, who became a formidable frontrunner after securing more than half of the delegates allocated in March.
On April 10, Santorum suspended his campaign due to a variety of reasons, such as a low delegate count, unfavorable polls in his home state of Pennsylvania, and his daughter's health, leaving Mitt Romney as the undisputed front-runner for the presidential nomination and allowing Gingrich to claim that he was "the last conservative standing" in the campaign for the nomination.After disappointing results in the April 24 primaries (finishing second in one state, third in three, and fourth in one), Gingrich dropped out on May 2 in a move that was seen as an effective end to the nomination contest. After Gingrich's spokesman announced his upcoming withdrawal, the Republican National Committee declared Romney the party's presumptive nominee. Ron Paul officially remained in the race, but he stopped campaigning on May 14 to focus on state conventions.
On May 29, after winning the Texas primary, Romney had received a sufficient number of delegates to clinch the party's nomination with the inclusion of unpledged delegates. After winning the June 5 primaries in California and several other states, Romney had received more than enough pledged delegates to clinch the nomination without counting unpledged delegates, making the June 26 Utah Primary, the last contest of the cycle, purely symbolic. CNN's final delegate estimate, released on July 27, 2012, put Romney at 1,462 pledged delegates and 62 unpledged delegates, for a total estimate of 1,524 delegates. No other candidate had unpledged delegates. The delegate estimates for the other candidates were Santorum at 261 delegates, Paul at 154, Gingrich at 142, Bachmann at 1, Huntsman at 1, and all others at 0.
On August 28, 2012, delegates at the Republican National Convention officially named Romney the party's presidential nominee.Romney formally accepted the delegates' nomination on August 30, 2012.
|Republican Party ticket, 2012|
|Mitt Romney||Paul Ryan|
|for President||for Vice President|
| 70th Governor of Massachusetts |
| U.S. Representative from Wisconsin |
Four other parties nominated candidates that had ballot access or write-in access to at least 270 electoral votes, the minimum number of votes needed in the 2012 election to win the presidency through a majority of the electoral college.
|Presidential ticket||Party||Ballot access||Votes||Percentage|
|States||Electors||% of voters|
|Obama / Biden||Democratic||50 + DC||538||100%||65,915,795||51.19%|
|Romney / Ryan||Republican||50 + DC||538||100%||60,933,504||47.32%|
|Johnson / Gray||Libertarian||48 + DC||515||95.1%||1,275,971||0.99%|
|Stein / Honkala||Green||36 + DC||436||83.1%||469,627||0.36%|
|Goode / Clymer||Constitution||26||257||49.9%||122,388||0.09%|
|Anderson / Rodriguez||Justice||15||145||28.1%||43,018||0.03%|
|Lindsay / Osorio||Socialism & Liberation||13||115||28.6%||7,791||0.006%|
Candidates in bold were on ballots representing 270 electoral votes.
All other candidates were on the ballots of fewer than 10 states, 100 electors, and less than 20% of voters nationwide.
The United States presidential election of 2012 broke new records in financing, fundraising, and negative campaigning. Through grassroots campaign contributions, online donations, and Super PACs, Obama and Romney raised a combined total of more than $2 billion.Super PACs constituted nearly one-fourth of the total financing, with most coming from pro-Romney PACs. Obama raised $690 million through online channels, beating his record of $500 million in 2008. Most of the advertising in the 2012 presidential campaign was decidedly negative—80% of Obama's ads and 84% of Romney's ads were negative. The tax-exempt non-profit Americans for Prosperity, a so-called "outside group", that is, a political advocacy group that is not a political action committee or super-PAC, ran a television advertising campaign opposing Obama described by The Washington Post as "early and relentless". Americans for Prosperity spent $8.4 million in swing states on television advertisements denouncing the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 loan guarantee to Solyndra, a manufacturer of solar panels that went bankrupt, an advertising campaign described by The Wall Street Journal in November 2011 as "perhaps the biggest attack on Mr. Obama so far".
The Commission on Presidential Debates held four debates during the last weeks of the campaign: three presidential and one vice-presidential. The major issues debated were the economy and jobs, the federal budget deficit, taxation and spending, the future of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, healthcare reform, education, social issues, immigration, and foreign policy.
|P1||Wednesday, October 3, 2012||University of Denver||Denver, Colorado||Jim Lehrer||President Barack Obama||67.2|
|VP||Thursday, October 11, 2012||Centre College||Danville, Kentucky||Martha Raddatz||Vice President Joe Biden||51.4|
|P2||Tuesday, October 16, 2012||Hofstra University||Hempstead, New York||Candy Crowley||President Barack Obama||65.6|
|P3||Monday, October 22, 2012||Lynn University||Boca Raton, Florida||Bob Schieffer||President Barack Obama||59.2|
An independent presidential debate featuring minor party candidates took place on Tuesday, October 23 at the Hilton Hotel in Chicago, Illinois.The debate was moderated by Larry King and organized by the Free & Equal Elections Foundation. The participants were Gary Johnson (Libertarian), Jill Stein (Green), Virgil Goode (Constitution), and Rocky Anderson (Justice). A second debate between Stein and Johnson took place on Monday, November 5 in Washington, D.C. It was hosted by RT and moderated by Thom Hartmann and Christina Tobin.
Popular vote totals are from the official Federal Election Commission report. The results of the electoral vote were certified by Congress on January 4, 2013.
|Presidential candidate||Party||Home state||Popular vote||Electoral|
|Count||Percentage||Vice-presidential candidate||Home state||Electoral vote|
|Barack Hussein Obama II||Democratic||Illinois||65,915,795||51.06%||332||Joseph Robinette Biden Jr.||Delaware||332|
|Willard Mitt Romney||Republican||Massachusetts||60,933,504||47.20%||206||Paul Davis Ryan Jr.||Wisconsin||206|
|Gary Johnson||Libertarian||New Mexico||1,275,971||0.99%||0||James P. Gray||California||0|
|Jill Stein||Green||Massachusetts||469,627||0.36%||0||Cheri Honkala||Pennsylvania||0|
|Virgil Goode||Constitution||Virginia||122,389||0.09%||0||Jim Clymer||Pennsylvania||0|
|Roseanne Barr||Peace and Freedom||Hawaii||67,326||0.05%||0||Cindy Sheehan||California||0|
|Rocky Anderson||Justice||Utah||43,018||0.03%||0||Luis J. Rodriguez||California||0|
|Tom Hoefling||America's||Iowa||40,628||0.03%||0||J.D. Ellis||Tennessee||0|
|Andre Barnett||Reform||New York||956||<0.01%||0||Ken Cross||Arkansas||0|
|Needed to win||270||270|
The table below displays the official vote tallies by each state's Electoral College voting method. The source for the results of all states, except those that amended their official results, is the official Federal Election Commission report. The column labeled "Margin" shows Obama's margin of victory over Romney (the margin is negative for every state that Romney won).
|States/districts won by Obama/Biden|
|States/districts won by Romney/Ryan|
★Maine and Nebraska each allow for their electoral votes to be split between candidates. In the 2012 election, all four of Maine's electoral votes were won by Obama and all five of Nebraska's electoral votes were won by Romney. The following table records the official presidential vote tallies for Maine and Nebraska's congressional districts.
|Maine's 1st congressional district||223,035||59.57%||142,937||38.18%||4,501||1.20%||3,946||1.05%||–||–||80,098||21.39%||374,419|
|Maine's 2nd congressional district||177,998||52.94%||149,215||44.38%||4,843||1.44%||4,170||1.24%||–||–||28,783||8.56%||336,226|
|Nebraska's 1st congressional district||108,082||40.83%||152,021||57.43%||3,847||1.45%||–||–||762||0.29%||−43,939||−16.60%||264,712|
|Nebraska's 2nd congressional district||121,889||45.70%||140,976||52.85%||3,393||1.27%||–||–||469||0.18%||−19,087||−7.16%||266,727|
|Nebraska's 3rd congressional district||72,110||27.82%||182,067||70.24%||3,869||1.49%||–||–||1,177||0.45%||−109,957||−42.42%||259,223|
Red denotes states (or congressional districts that contribute an electoral vote) won by Republican Mitt Romney; blue denotes those won by Democrat Barack Obama.
State where the margin of victory was under 1% (29 electoral votes):
States where the margin of victory was under 5% (46 electoral votes):
States/districts where the margin of victory was between 5% and 10% (120 electoral votes):
After the networks called Ohio (the state that was arguably the most critical for Romney, as no Republican has ever won the Presidency without carrying it) for Obama at around 11:15 PM EST on Election Day, Romney was ready to concede the race, but hesitated when Karl Rove strenuously objected on Fox News to the network's decision to make that call.However, after Colorado and Nevada were called for the President (giving Obama enough electoral votes to win even if Ohio were to leave his column), in tandem with Obama's apparent lead in Florida and Virginia (both were eventually called for Obama), Romney acknowledged that he had lost and conceded at around 1:00 AM EST on November 7.
Despite public polling showing Romney behind Obama in the swing states of Nevada, Colorado, Iowa, Wisconsin, Ohio, and New Hampshire, tied with Obama in Virginia, and just barely ahead of Obama in Florida, the Romney campaign said they were genuinely surprised by the loss, having believed that public polling was oversampling Democrats.The Romney campaign had already set up a transition website, and had scheduled and purchased a fireworks display to celebrate in case he won the election.
On November 30, 2012, it was revealed that shortly before the election, internal polling done by the Romney campaign had shown Romney ahead in Colorado and New Hampshire, tied in Iowa, and within a few points of Obama in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, and Ohio.In addition, the Romney campaign had assumed that they would win Florida and Virginia. The polls had made Romney and his campaign team so confident of their victory that Romney did not write a concession speech until Obama's victory was announced.
Foreign leaders reacted with both positive and mixed messages. Most world leaders congratulated and praised Barack Obama on his re-election victory. However, Venezuela and some other states had tempered reactions. Pakistan commented that Romney's defeat had made Pakistan-United States relations safer. Stock markets fell noticeably after Obama's re-election, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average, NASDAQ, and the S&P 500 each declining over two percent the day after the election.By his inauguration, however, the markets had gained back all the losses and a bull run began that culminated in 2015 when the Dow closed at an all-time high of 18,312, the NASDAQ reached the milestone of 5,210, and the S&P 500 peaked at a record 2,130.
|2012 Presidential vote by demographic subgroup|
|Demographic subgroup||Obama||Romney||Other||% of|
|Sex by marital status|
|Protestant or other Christian||42||57||1||53|
|Religious service attendance|
|More than once a week||36||63||1||14|
|Once a week||41||58||1||28|
|A few times a month||55||44||1||13|
|A few times a year||56||42||2||27|
|White evangelical or born-again Christian?|
|White evangelical or born-again Christian||21||78||1||26|
|18–24 years old||60||36||4||11|
|25–29 years old||60||38||2||8|
|30–39 years old||55||42||3||17|
|40–49 years old||48||50||2||20|
|50–64 years old||47||52||1||28|
|65 and older||44||56||0||16|
|Age by race|
|Whites 18–29 years old||44||51||5||11|
|Whites 30–44 years old||38||59||3||18|
|Whites 45–64 years old||38||61||1||29|
|Whites 65 and older||39||61||n/a||14|
|Blacks 18–29 years old||91||8||1||3|
|Blacks 30–44 years old||94||5||1||4|
|Blacks 45–64 years old||93||7||n/a||4|
|Blacks 65 and older||93||6||1||1|
|Latinos 18–29 years old||74||23||3||4|
|Latinos 30–44 years old||71||28||1||3|
|Latinos 45–64 years old||68||31||1||3|
|Latinos 65 and older||65||35||n/a||1|
|Not a high school graduate||64||35||1||3|
|High school graduate||51||48||1||21|
|Some college education||49||48||3||29|
|Big cities (population over 500,000)||69||29||2||11|
|Mid-sized cities (population 50,000 to 500,000)||58||40||2||21|
|Towns (population 10,000 to 50,000)||42||56||2||8|
The United States has a population of 50 million Hispanic and Latino Americans, 27 million of whom are citizens eligible to vote (13% of total eligible voters). Traditionally, only half of eligible Hispanic voters vote (around 7% of voters); of them, 71% voted for Barack Obama (increasing his percentage of the vote by 5%); therefore, the Hispanic vote was an important factor in Obama's re-election, since the vote difference between the two main parties was only 3.9%
Source: Exit polls conducted by Edison Research of Somerville, New Jersey, for the National Election Pool, a consortium of ABC News, Associated Press, CBS News, CNN,Fox News, and NBC News. Total vote and results by region are based on the "Votes by state" section of this article.
Combined with the re-elections of Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, Obama's victory in the 2012 election marked only the second time in American history that three consecutive presidents were each elected to two or more full terms (the first time being the consecutive two-term presidencies of Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and James Monroe).This was also the first election since 1944 in which neither of the major candidates had any military experience.
The 2012 election marked the first time since Franklin D. Roosevelt's last two re-elections in 1940 and 1944 that a Democratic presidential candidate won a majority of the popular vote in two consecutive elections.Obama was also the first president of either party to secure at least 51% of the popular vote in two elections since Dwight Eisenhower in 1952 and 1956. Obama is the third Democratic president to secure at least 51% of the vote twice, after Andrew Jackson and Franklin D. Roosevelt. Romney won the popular vote in 226 congressional districts making this the first time since 1960 that the winner of the election did not win the popular vote in a majority of the congressional districts. Romney also became the first Republican since Gerald Ford's narrow defeat to Jimmy Carter, in 1976, to fail to win a presidential election while earning a minimum of 200 electoral votes.
Romney lost his home state of Massachusetts, becoming the first major party presidential candidate to lose his home state since Democrat Al Gore lost his home state of Tennessee to Republican George W. Bush in the 2000 election.Romney lost his home state by more than 23%, the worst losing margin for a major party candidate since John Frémont in 1856. Even worse than Frémont, Romney failed to win a single county in his home state. In addition, since Obama carried Ryan's home state of Wisconsin, the Romney–Ryan ticket was the first major party ticket since the 1972 election to have both of its nominees lose their home states. Romney won the popular vote in every county of three states: Utah, Oklahoma, and West Virginia; Obama did so in four states: Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Hawaii.
Romney's loss prompted the Republican National Committee to try to appeal to the American Latino population by concentrating on different approaches to immigration. These were short-lived due to activity and anger from the Republican base and may have contributed to the selection of Donald Trump as their presidential candidate four years later.
Gary Johnson's popular vote total set a Libertarian Party record, and his popular vote percentage was the second-best showing for a Libertarian in a presidential election, trailing only Ed Clark's in 1980.Johnson would go on to beat this record in the 2016 presidential election, winning the most votes for the Libertarian ticket in history. At the time, Green Party candidate Jill Stein's popular vote total made her the most successful female presidential candidate in a general election in United States history. This was later surpassed by Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election.
Obama's vote total was the second most votes received in the history of presidential elections and the most ever for a reelected president. Obama owns the all-time record for votes in a single election as well in 2008. However, Obama also became the first president in American history to be reelected to a second term by smaller margins in every way possible: Compared to his victory in 2008, he won fewer states (28 to 26), fewer electoral votes (365 to 332), fewer popular votes (69.5 million to 65.9 million), a smaller percentage of the popular vote (52.9% to 51.1%), and fewer congressional districts (242 to 209).
As Obama's performance is Washington D.C. in 2012 was slightly weaker than his own performance in the district in 2008, a streak of five consecutive elections of repeated unprecedentedly larger and larger Democratic margins of victory which had lasted from 1992 to 2008 within the district was broken. In 2016, Hillary Clinton's margin of victory in the district exceeded Obama's 2008 margin, bringing the district back into the routine of providing unprecedentedly large Democratic victories, making 2012 a clear outlier to these trends.
The following is a timeline of major events leading up to the United States presidential election of 2012. The election was the 57th quadrennial United States presidential election and was held on November 6, 2012.
The 2012 Republican presidential primaries were the selection processes in which voters of the Republican Party elected state delegations to the Republican National Convention. The national convention then selected its nominee to run for President of the United States in the 2012 presidential election. There were 2,286 delegates chosen, and a candidate needed to accumulate 1,144 delegate votes at the convention to win the nomination. The caucuses allocated delegates to the respective state delegations to the national convention, but the actual election of the delegates were, many times, at a later date. Delegates were elected in different ways that vary from state to state. They could be elected at local conventions, selected from slates submitted by the candidates, selected at committee meetings, or elected directly at the caucuses and primaries.
The 2012 United States Republican Party presidential debates were a series of political debates held prior to and during the 2012 Republican primaries, among candidates for the Republican presidential nomination in the national election of 2012. The first debate occurred on May 5, 2011, in Greenville, South Carolina, and was hosted by Fox News, while the last debate was held February 22, 2012, in Mesa, Arizona, and was hosted by CNN.
The 2012 United States presidential election in Iowa took place on November 6, 2012, as part of the 2012 general election in which all 50 states plus The District of Columbia participated. Iowa voters chose six electors to represent them in the Electoral College via a popular vote pitting incumbent Democratic President Barack Obama and his running mate, Vice President Joe Biden, against Republican challenger and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and his running mate, Congressman Paul Ryan.
The 2012 presidential campaign of Newt Gingrich, former U.S. Representative from Georgia and Speaker of the House, began shortly following the 2010 midterm elections. He was politically active during the midterm elections, and helped several Tea Party-backed Republicans with his endorsements and fundraising abilities.
Former Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania began a campaign for the 2012 Republican Party nomination for president of the United States in April 2011. He had been preparing for a run since shortly after the 2008 presidential election.
The 2012 United States presidential election in New Hampshire took place on November 6, 2012, as part of the 2012 United States presidential election in which all 50 states plus The District of Columbia participated. New Hampshire voters chose four electors to represent them in the Electoral College via a popular vote pitting incumbent Democratic President Barack Obama and his running mate, Vice President Joe Biden, against Republican challenger and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and his running mate, Congressman Paul Ryan.
The 2012 United States presidential election in South Carolina took place on November 6, 2012, as part of the 2012 General Election in which all 50 states plus The District of Columbia participated. South Carolina voters chose 9 electors to represent them in the Electoral College via a popular vote pitting incumbent Democratic President Barack Obama and his running mate, Vice President Joe Biden, against Republican challenger and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and his running mate, Congressman Paul Ryan. Romney defeated Obama in the state by 54.56% to 44.09%, a margin of 10.47%.
The 2012 Florida Republican primary was held on January 31, 2012. Fifty delegates were at stake, none of them RNC delegates; it is unclear whether these delegates will be allocated proportionally or winner-take-all. Originally awarded 99 delegates, the Republican National Committee removed half of Florida's delegates because the state committee moved its Republican primary before March 6; the Republican National Committee rules also set the delegate allocation to be proportional because the contest was held before April 1. It is a closed primary. There were 4,063,853 registered Republican voters as of January 3, 2012.
The 2012 United States presidential election in Michigan took place on November 6, 2012, as part of the 2012 General Election in which all 50 states plus The District of Columbia participated. Michigan voters chose 16 electors to represent them in the Electoral College via a popular vote pitting incumbent Democratic President Barack Obama and his running mate, Vice President Joe Biden, against Republican challenger and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and his running mate, Congressman Paul Ryan.
The 2012 United States presidential election in Arkansas took place on November 6, 2012, as part of the 2012 General Election in which all 50 states plus The District of Columbia participated. Arkansas voters chose six electors to represent them in the Electoral College via a popular vote pitting incumbent Democratic President Barack Obama and his running mate, Vice President Joe Biden, against Republican challenger and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and his running mate, Congressman Paul Ryan.
The 2012 United States presidential election in Kentucky took place on November 6, 2012, as part of the 2012 General Election in which all 50 states plus The District of Columbia participated. Kentucky voters chose eight electors to represent them in the Electoral College via a popular vote pitting incumbent Democratic President Barack Obama and his running mate, Vice President Joe Biden, against Republican challenger and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and his running mate, Congressman Paul Ryan.
The 2012 United States presidential election in North Carolina took place on November 6, 2012, as part of the 2012 General Election in which all 50 states plus The District of Columbia participated. North Carolina voters chose 15 electors to represent them in the Electoral College via a popular vote pitting incumbent Democratic President Barack Obama and his running mate, Vice President Joe Biden, against Republican challenger and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and his running mate, Congressman Paul Ryan.
The 2012 United States presidential election in Ohio took place on November 6, 2012, as part of the 2012 General Election in which all 50 states plus The District of Columbia participated. Ohio voters chose 18 electors to represent them in the Electoral College via a popular vote pitting incumbent Democratic President Barack Obama and his running mate, Vice President Joe Biden, against Republican challenger and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and his running mate, Congressman Paul Ryan. This continued the streak of having the winner of the overall election winning Ohio as the state has not voted for a losing candidate since Richard Nixon in 1960.
The 2012 United States presidential election in Oregon took place on November 6, 2012, as part of the 2012 General Election in which all 50 states plus The District of Columbia participated. Oregon voters chose seven electors to represent them in the Electoral College via a popular vote pitting incumbent Democratic President Barack Obama and his running mate, Vice President Joe Biden, against Republican challenger and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and his running mate, Congressman Paul Ryan.
The 2012 United States presidential election in Pennsylvania took place on November 6, 2012, as part of the 2012 general election in which all 50 states plus the District of Columbia participated. Pennsylvania voters chose 20 electors to represent them in the Electoral College via a popular vote. This is a reduction from its 2008 delegation, which had 21 electors; the change was due to reapportionment following the 2010 United States Census. Pennsylvania's 20 electoral votes are allotted on a winner-take-all basis.
The 2012 United States presidential election in Kansas took place on November 6, 2012, as part of the 2012 General Election in which all 50 states plus The District of Columbia participated. Kansas voters chose six electors to represent them in the Electoral College via a popular vote pitting incumbent Democratic President Barack Obama and his running mate, Vice President Joe Biden, against Republican challenger and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and his running mate, Congressman Paul Ryan. Romney and Ryan carried Kansas with 59.66% of the popular vote to Obama's and Biden's 38.05%, thus winning the state's six electoral votes.
The 2012 United States presidential election in the District of Columbia took place on November 6, 2012 as part of the 2012 General Election in which all 50 states plus The District of Columbia participated. D.C. voters chose three electors to represent them in the Electoral College via a popular vote pitting incumbent Democratic President Barack Obama and his running mate, Vice President Joe Biden, against Republican challenger and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and his running mate, Congressman Paul Ryan. Obama and Biden carried the District of Columbia with 90.9% of the popular vote to Romney's and Ryan's 7.3%, thus winning the district's three electoral votes. As of 2019, this is the only election since 1988 when the District failed to return a Democratic margin of victory higher than the district had then ever returned in any prior election.
The 2012 United States presidential election in North Dakota took place on November 6, 2012, as part of the 2012 General Election in which all 50 states plus The District of Columbia participated. North Dakota voters chose three electors to represent them in the Electoral College via a popular vote pitting incumbent Democratic President Barack Obama and his running mate, Vice President Joe Biden, against Republican challenger and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and his running mate, Congressman Paul Ryan.
Pennsylvania's state elections were held on November 6, 2012. Necessary primary elections were held on April 24.
The hundreds of thousands of television commercials broadcast by the presidential candidates are lopsidedly negative; this is the case with 80 percent of those put out by President Barack Obama and 84 percent of those for Mitt Romney.
Americans for Prosperity, the Virginia-based nonprofit that finances grass-roots activities across the country and ran an early and relentless television ad assault against President Obama during the 2012 campaign.