Notice: I got permission to do this thread. Behave yourselves or we'll lose it. This also does not mean that political threads are okay now.
Topics Probably Best Avoided
you are not voting for Obama/Romney because they aren't True [Your Political Philosophy Here] and thus you are abstaining/voting third party to send a message. I'm not saying it's valid thing to do (or not do), but it generally causes silly fights and has a slim chances of convincing anyone.
Warble Warble Third Party:
Voting for third party is a valid choice, and we don't need to get into big fights over whether or not it's throwing away one's vote. We're all impending victims of the corporate/communist machine anyhow, so who cares?
Fighting Over Politics:
Getting into arguments over issues like guns, gay rights, or if Hamilton could beat up Chewbacca in a fight are generally the best way to get threads locked. This includes stupid shit like birthers.
Avoid the Echo Chamber:
There will likely be one, maybe two people that are sincerely going to vote for Romney. Shit, there may be even three or four
. These people are your fellow citizens, and still deserve a modicum of civility. Don't dogpile a person just because he or she is saying stuff your disagree with. If they you feel someone is being blatantly stupid to the point where they might trolling, then report their asses and move on.
Disclaimer: I am not an SE++ mod, and these are just general guidelines to help keep the thread healthy and happy. That said, I won't hesitate to toss any of you into the greedy, greedy jaws of the mods if you try to sabotage this thread with shit-headed shenanigans.
Incumbents tend to enjoy an advantage in elections, though that applies more to congressional campaigns than the presidential ones. Particularly during rough economic times, it can be very disadvantageous to be the incumbent when your policies have either failed, been stymied by the opposition, or just haven't had time to show noticeable results yet.
President Barack "The Islamic Shock" Obama
51 Years Old
Vice President "Mighty" Joe Biden
69 Years Old
Obama had a pretty strong campaign in 2008, able to draw in a lot of young and minority votes. He is also quite famous for his ability to deliver a speech, which will help on the campaign trail. A number of other accomplishments as president such as bringing down Don't Ask; Don't Tell, the Affordable Care Act, support of gay marriage, winding down the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the death of Osama Bin Laden may earn him the votes of independents. Also, his running mate is not Paul Ryan.
This is an economy election, and the economy has not improved to a point that will impress swing voters. Obama's other achievements will easily be eclipsed by this one point, and it will be difficult convincing people that his policies will work if he's given another four years. He has also left the liberal base feeling very cold at times by keeping Gitmo open, being too wishy-washy in contentious situations such as last year's debt ceiling fiasco, his use of drone strikes, and doing little to reverse the increased powers that the Bush Administration granted the office. This could easily kill the high youth vote Obama enjoyed in 2008.
Challengers, while lacking the recognition of the president, enjoy being free from the burden of having any kind of presidential record to potential weigh them down. On the other hand, a fierce primary like the oddball GOP one of 2012 can dredge up a lot of ammunition for the opposition party.
Massachusetts Governor Mitt "Mittens" Romney
65 Years Old
Representative Paul "Psycho" Ryan
42 Years Old
: Romney's success as a businessman is seen as a plus by the general public when it comes to providing solutions to the economy. He's seen as more moderate than other members of his party, which can help woo independents. Romney also has a TON of cash being pumped into his campaign from various sources which, if it tops Obama's war chest, will allow the Romney camp better control of the narrative this election season. Paul Ryan adds charisma and hardline conservatism to the ticket. Hands-down has the best hair of either side.
His base demands nothing less than ideological purity, perhaps moreso than Obama's base, and this could leave a lot of GOP voters staying home. The pick of Paul Ryan was good red meat for the base, but the McCain tried a similar strategy with Sarah Palin that led to disastrous results. His businessman veneer may not be so hot in an atmosphere that isn't too welcoming of rich corporate types, and Romney is hyper-rich
to the point where he'll look cold and out-of-touch even when compared to the rest of these rich politicians.
For those not familiar with the government of Eagle Land, the citizens were deemed "frightfully slow-witted" by the Founding Fathers and thus not allowed to directly vote for president. Instead, there's an electoral college that votes for president. Each state gets a number of electoral votes that are awarded to one candidate when he or she wins the state. The number of votes is some arbitrary number that George Washington came up with after a bar fight
the total number of representatives and senators a state has. As a result, bigger states tend to be more popular (as representatives are determined by population, whereas senators are a static two per state). Technically
, there is no guarantee that a member of the college has to vote in any particular way, but the party heads get to choose the voters so this is rarely a thing. I believe an elector voter abstained once as a purely symbolic gesture during the 2000 election.
So politicians want big states, but they're also realists and won't waste too many resources on "stronghold" states that historically vote for one party by a very margin. The two best-known stronghold states are California (Democrat) and Texas (Republican). As a result, the target is normally "battlefield" states that aren't polling strongly either way. So, thanks to the way things are set up, the votes in a vast majority of states don't really matter, and it boils down to a handful of states. This is, of course, the short run. States can and have gone from stronghold to battlefield and vice-versa, so you should vote anyways.
This year's battlefields look to be...
Wisconsin (Paul Ryan represents this state)
Massachusetts (typically Democrat, but Romney is their governor)
All of these states voted for Obama in 2008, but that doesn't mean he can count on them this year. Also, it's still early in the season, so it's possible that these states might fall out of play as times marches on.
The magic number of votes to win is 270. If neither candidate can reach that amount, then they get greased up and wrestle. Best three out of five is the winner.