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Election 2012

The Race for President and Congress


On the ballot in Election 2012 are President Barack Obama, each of the 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and a third of the 100-member U.S. Senate. The major issues in Election 2012 are job creation and the economy, although conservative presidential and congressional candidates made social issues such as abortion and contraception part of their platforms.

Table of Contents

  • The Presidential Candidates
  • President Barack Obama
  • Mitt Romney
  • Rick Santorum
  • Newt Gingrich
  • Ron Paul
  • Key Issues in Election 2012
  • Election and Voting Info
  • Key Congressional Races

Presidential Race

President Barack Obama speaks to supporters at a campaign rally at Ohio State University on May 5, 2012
Scott Olson/Getty Images News/Getty Images

The Democratic Incumbent

Barack Obama

Barack Obama
Pool / Getty Images News

The former U.S. senator from Illinois is seeking a second term in the White House, but must convince an electorate that has been battered by a poor economy and high unemployment. His signature legislative accomplishment, the reform of the nation's health care system, was met with skepticism among voters and the target of state attorneys general who claimed its individual mandate is unconstitutional.

Republican Candidates

Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney
Mario Tama / Getty Images News

The former Massachusetts governor was widely expected to capture the Republican presidential nomination easily and early in the primary season. But he faltered on his way to the party convention because many Republican voters questioned his credentials as a conservative. He also didn't win the nomination earlier, many felt, because of the Republican Party's new delegate rules. His wife Ann Romney also came under fire during the primaries.

Rick Santorum

Rick Santorum
Mario Tama / Getty Images News

The former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania was a hit among Tea Party conservatives and evangelical voters who briefly held the frontrunner status. But his campaign lacked organization and money. His name did not appear on the ballot in some states. He abandoned his campaign in April 2012 after running out of money and caring for his 3-year-old daughter Bella, who was born with a rare genetic condition.

Newt Gingrich

Newt Gingrich
Mario Tama / Getty Images News

The former U.S. House speaker and conservative firebrand led the Republican revolution in the mid-1990s. But his campaign struggled to gain traction in most of the primaries and caucuses in the primary battle in 2012.

Ron Paul

Ron Paul
Alex Wong / Getty Images News

The congressman from Texas is popular among libertarians and young voters, and his campaign strategy focused on delegates, not popular vote totals. Still, that was not nearly enough to get him close to the nomination.

Key Issues in the 2012 Presidential Race

Election and Voting Information

Key Congressional Races

U.S. Senate

  • Key Races: There are 33 seats up for grabs in Election 2012. Democrats controlled the upper chamber of Congress heading into the election, but Republicans were hoping to wrest it back and hold majorities in both the House and Senate. Here's a state-by-state breakdown of important U.S. Senate contests.

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