Why did Obama win in 2012

  • Created by: Tom
  • Created on: 29-04-13 20:07
View mindmap
  • Why did Obama win in 2012?
    • Romney
      • Moderate philosophy made social conservative support less enthusiastic
      • Mormon
      • Forgot they had to give people a reason to vote for Romney, rather than against Obama
      • Verbal gaffes- 47% remark most notably
      • Changed from conservative to moderate between primaries and Presidential election
    • Early Advantage
      • Before Romney had the opportunity to introduce himself, Obama derided his opponent.
      • Significant use of negative ad- spent $1.2 million on them in the 3rd week of July alone which aired 1947 times in Ohio.
      • Turned an election which should have been a referendum on Obama's economic policies into a referendum on Romney's character.
    • Better Campaign
      • Ran by far the better campaign in terms of voter registration, organisation, use of money and get-out-the-vote effort
      • Started early and was always ahead in terms of organisation
      • Spring 2012- Obama had more field offices open than all his potential Republican rivals combined
        • Summer-106 open in Florida compared to Romney's 52
        • Summer-131 open in Ohio, compared to Romney's 40
      • African American Share of vote in Ohio increased from 11% in 2008 to 15% (96% of African Americans voted Obama)
      • Hispanic share of vote in Florida increased from 14% in 2008 to 17% (60% of Florida Hispanics voted Obama)
    • He was an Incumbent
      • Only 5 sitting presidents since the beginning of the 20th century have lost re-election races.
      • Also had a completely united party behind him and no real primary challenge. Almost impossible to defeat a President under these condiions
    • October Surprise
      • Hurricane Sandy
      • Allowed Obama to be the focus of media attention and seen in a presidential role
      • High profile Republican Christie gave Obama credit
    • Two Former Presidents
      • Clinton  was a very effective campaigner for Obama- his speech at the convention was better than Obamas
      • A majority of voters (53%) blamed Bush for economic problems


Old Sir


An exemplary way of organising the themes and issues that need to be addressed when discussing this question. It would make a useful aide-memoire for students who are about to embark on wider reading and planning to answer to this question.

Similar Government & Politics resources:

See all Government & Politics resources »See all Constitutional frameworks of US government resources »