‹ 2008 Flag of the United States 2016
United States presidential election, 2012
November 6, 2012
Turnout 127,100,567
Barack Obama Romney
Nominee Barack Obama Mitt Romney
Party Democratic Republican
Home state Illinois Massachusetts
Running mate Joe Biden Paul Ryan
Electoral vote 340 198
States carried 29 + DC 19
Percentage 49.5% 48.7%
Presidential election results map. Blue-Obama, Red-Romney

The United States presidential election of 2012 was the 57th quadrennial Presidential Election. Democrat Barack Obama, then President of the United States from Illinois, defeated Republican Mitt Romney. The selected electors from each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia voted for President and Vice President of the United States on December 12, 2012. Those votes were tallied before a joint session of Congress on January 8, 2013. Obama received 340 electoral votes, and Romney 198.

Democratic Primaries

Barack Obama had little challenge in the Democratic Primaries, despite some discontent among Democrats of him not being left or right enough for them. Randall Terry, a Pro-Life activist of New York, briefly challenged him, but he was not unable to appear on ballots in any primaries, and received almost no votes.

Republican Primaries

Republican Candidates


  • Mitt Romney - 1489 delegates

Dropped Out During Primaries (listed in order of delegates, if no delegates, then votes)

  • Rick Santorum - 258 delegates
  • Ron Paul - 154 delegates
  • Newt Gingrich - 142 delegates
  • Jon Huntsman - 3 delegates
  • Michele Bachmann - 1 delegate
  • Rick Perry
  • Buddy Roemer

Dropped Out Prior to Primaries (listed in order they dropped out)

  • Tim Pawlenty
  • Thaddeus McCotter
  • Herman Cain
  • Gary Johnson

Mitt Romney was an early frontrunner due to large amounts of money and name recognition. Tim Pawlenty soon dropped out of the race. By the time the primaries began, Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney were the leaders. Eventually, Romney won the nomination, with Santorum, Gingrich, and Paul winning a few states. Jon Huntsman and Herman Cain all received decent levels of support, but not enough to win the nomination. Romney chose Paul Ryan to be his Running Mate.

Third Party Nominees/Candidates

Libertarian: Gary Johnson of New Mexico won the nomination, and he chose Jim Gray of California to be his Vice Presidential Nominee.

Green: Jill Stein defeated Roseanne Barr and Kent Mesplay for the nomination. She chose Cheri Honkala of Pennsylvania as his running mate.

Constitution: Virgil Goode of Virginia won the nomination of the Constitution Party, and he chose Jim Clymer of Pennsylvania to be his running mate.

Reform: Andre Barnett of New York won the nomination, and chose historian Darcy Richardson of Florida to be his running mate.

Socialist: Stewart Alexander of California won the nomination. He chose Alejandro Mendoza of California to be his running mate.

Prohibition Party: Jack Fellure defeated James Hedges and won the nomination.

Independents: Robert Burck, street performer from New York, called the Naked Cowboy, ran as an independent Tea Party candidate. Terry Jones, appeared on the ballot of Ohio as an independent. Other Independents included Joe Schriner.



Mitt Romney pledged to conservative voters that he would run his campaign "100% Pro-life". He stated that as president, he would do everything he could to restrict abortion, and he would support an anti-abortion amendment. Obama, on the other hand, ran Pro-Choice. The President argued that abortion should not be regulated by the state, and instead should be kept as a private matter between doctor and patient. This argument ultimately proved to bring more Progressive democrats and some libertarian leaning Republicans to his side.

Deficit/National Debt

The continually growing national debt terrified many Americans, as did an enormous deficit. Many people, including Romney, argued that Obama's policies were making the problem worse. Obama argued that the best way to decrease the deficit would be would be to push for a massive reform of the US Tax code, and allowing the Bush Tax Cuts to the wealthy to expire. This also included removing the cap on Social Security taxes to include those who make more than $300,000 a year. The Tea Party was particularly outspoken against this, and in fact favored tax decreases and lower spending.


The 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care act was widely unpopular among conservative voters, although attempts to repeal the act all failed. Romney and Pawlenty both called for the act, known also as Obamacare, to be repealed. Some liberals also sought to change the bill, claiming that there were many things that could be added and earmarks that could be removed from it. Tea Party activists were still protesting the bill, although their movement was not as strong as it was in 2010. President Obama took a hard line stance on this issue, stating that any attempts to abolish the legislation would be met with his veto pen, and argued that it actually reduced the deficit rather than increased it as many conservatives stated.

Middle East Revolutions

The Middle East had entered a period of great instability following a series of revolutions across 2011. Many of the new governments were highly unstable, and several wars had broken out. Israel was a particular issue, after briefly being attacked by Syria in August 2011 (although that Syrian government toppled by October, and then the war ended). The Republicans advocated massive military aid to Israel and sending troops to secure oil to prevent the revolutionaries from destroying the world oil supply. Many Democrats, although most did support Israel, favored leaving the rest of the Middle East alone. Obama played to both sides, capitalizing on his success in staying out of internal disputes unless they represented a clear threat to civilians, as in the case of the Libyan Revolution.


Joe Biden speaks in Israel, confirming US support.


Because of his plan to deal with the defecit, Obama stated that taxes would have to be raised, although he stated that almost all of the burden should fall upon the super-rich, with the middle class having less of a burden and almost no taxes for the poor. Tea Parties were held against this position, and in advocation of Romney's lower taxes campaign.

Election Results

Name Party Votes* % Electoral Running Mate
Barack Obama Democratic 65,621,472 51.0 332 Joe Biden
Mitt Romney Republican 60,875,592 47.3 206 Paul Ryan
Gary Johnson Libertarian   1,274,433 0.99 0 Jim Gray
Jill Stein Green      467,205 0.35 0 Cheri Honkala
Virgil Goode Constitution      121,617 0.10 0 Cheri Honkala
Dumbo Jumbo Populist      418,627 0.3 0 T.R. Key
  • = Yet to be added
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