Homework Question on American Politics
- Post the Supreme Court decision (Citizens United) contributions to political candidates has skyrocketed, especially for non-connected outside groups or individual donors. Visit Opensecrets.org (The Center for Responsive Politics) and Federal Elections Commission (www.fec.gov) website detailing who gives how much money to political candidates. Opensecrets shows the 2014 election cost nearly $4 billion, the most expensive midterm election ever.
- Total spending in 2012 (presidential and Congress) was over $6 billion, again a record. Spending in 2016 is expected to be the highest ever. Another great website for money in politics is www.followthemoney.org which lists money given to candidates at the local, state and national levels.
- Do candidates with donors with the most money and who can run the most TV ads win?
- How important is money in elections in the US?
- Go to the New York Times 2012 Big Board election results page (http://elections.nytimes.com/2012/results/president). Click on each state so see what percentage of the vote Democratic candidate Obama received compared to Republican candidate Romney.
- Are there any surprises? On the left side click the link for state winners, counties and the change from 2008. This last link tells you what areas of the country voted more Democrat in 2012 compared to 2008, or what regions voted more Republican in 2008 than Democrat (shaded in red).
- What explains why some regions became more blue in 2012 and why some more red? On the left hand side of the page, move the bar to the 2008 elections.
- How did the Republican (McCain) and Democratic (Obama) presidential candidates fare in the previous election in each state? Go further back to the 2004 and 2000 presidential elections.
- Which states changed from supporting Republican to Democratic candidates over this time period. Iowa is considered a swing state. Can you understand why from this map?
- What are the other swing states and which party’s candidate did they support in the past?
- How will the swing states vote in 2016? On the top of the page click on the link for “president” and then “exit polls” (http://elections.nytimes.com/2012/results/president/exit-polls).
- What demographic and attitudinal groups did Democratic candidate Obama win compared to the Republican candidate Romney in 2012? What about in 2008 or 2004? [Review from voting exercise]
- Using this information, please discuss the 2012 presidential election.
- Who did President Obama mobilize (get to turnout) in order to win compared to his Republican challenger?
- Who did the Republican presidential candidate mobilize?
- Focus on any aspect of the 2012 presidential election to help predict what will happen in 2016. .
Homework Answer on American Politics
The United States registered voters are represented as Whites (64%), blacks (13.5%), Hispanics (16.7%) and Asians (5%). Over the last two elections, Asians who concentrate the Democratic California contributes around 15 percent of the cast votes. On the other hand, the presidential contenders increase their chances by Hispanics whose primary battlegrounds are Colorado, Florida and Nevada.
In 2012 elections, Mr. Romney enjoyed 59% support from the white’s working class that runs in luxury but that did not guarantee him the victory against his challenger Mr. Barack Obama. During these campaigns, the top donors contributed $653,980 to Mr. Romney and $635,750 to Mr. Obama. In additional, the vast finances were directed to the voters, assuring them of creating a stable economy. The votes share for Mr. Romney was overwhelming in Mississippi, Alabama, whereas Obama enjoyed a significant support in Vermont, Massachusetts, Maine and New Hampshire.
To win the 2012 election, Obama intensified his campaigns on the minority groups such as Hispanic and Asian. The Democrats won the 2012 election by focusing on younger votes, which forms the largest population. In Maryland, Obama targeted the votes from the Blacks, who gave him a resounding 97 percent, earning him 62 percent majority.If the Republican presidential contender, Mr. Romney focused on the white votes, a difference of 1.5 percent along 11 percentage support from the non-whites would guarantee him the victory in the 2012 election.