Your ultimate guide to the United States presidential election of 2012.
It covers the candidates and the probabilities of each being elected to office. I also layout the issues in a clear non-partisan way. This is an objective non-partial guide to the US presidential elections. The most important thing is this guide is simple and clear.
The United States presidential election of 2012 is on Tuesday November 6, 2012. The electoral college election is on December 17, 2012. The presidential election will be on the same day as the election of the house of representatives and 33 senate seats. There will be 11 gubernatorial races and a number of state representative races.
The Issues of the 2012 presidential election
- Economy – The primary issue in every Presidential election is the economy. The state of the economy determines who will win. I know hardliners on both side, democrat and republican shift party loyalty based on economic issues. Most people are trying to provide a life for their family and this issue comes first.
The main economic debate is this:
- The Democrats believe in a free market but temper excesses by taxing the rich and redistributing wealth to the poor and middle class. This includes incentives to small business which are the biggest employer in the USA.
- The Republicans believe the poor and middle class became well off in the USA because of entrepreneurship and hard work. When big government tries convince people you need government intervention to micromanage the process, this is the road to serfdom.
- Taxes – The Democrats, like President Obama or Clinton, believe in increase taxes to pay government obligations now. The Republicans believe like President Reagan and Arthur Laffer, reduce taxes and this will increase growth and will result in greater revenue. Tea Party and Libertarians like Ron Paul believe cut spending by over 50% as step one. Therefore, what is done with taxes and spending is the major issue as it affects all others. However, it is not just about high or low taxes it is also how we are taxed. Do we have a very progressive tax or more of a flat tax. Flat tax would simply the process, and better for growth, but is unfair to the poor. What about a negative income tax?
- Debt – There is bipartisan support for decreasing the US government debt. Actually now the focus is only on the deficit. The Democrats want to decrease the US deficit by focusing on taxing , mostly the rich and tax cheats. The Republicans want to do this through a decrease in taxes and government spending.The only way to do it is the Ron Paul approach of cut spending greater than 50%, then a balanced budget amendment. Why? The democrats project 20 trillion in debt by 2016 and the Republicans 19 trillion. To me this is no difference, both parties are just games and politics.
- Trade – Free trade or protectionism. This is one of the key issues. Should the USA be like China and pursue a more mercantilist policy and help protect US jobs, or should the US be a free economy and focus on developing its competitive advantage. The Democrats focus on protecting the US worker. The Republicans think free trade makes society richer.
- Right to work – Should the US government care about issues like the minimum wage and policies to protect workers right? Or do Workers rights make it more difficult for employers to hire new workers and therefore, hurts workers in the long run.
- Unemployment – Republicans prefer monetary stimulus and Democrats prefer fiscal stimulus and Libertarians prefer allowing the market to work naturally. If you want to know more about these ideas try looking at the Keynes Vs. Hayek video.
- Financial Regulation – This issue is all over the board. But again Democrats prefer regulation while Republicans prefer less government.
- Health care – If the Republicans win big in the 2012 election with the presidential and congressional race, Obama’s health care will be repealed and a Republican version of the Health care reform will be issues.
- Social security – One on extreme the government should provide care from the cradle to the grave, new sources of funding will be needed and sought out.On the other side the New Deal I and II should be undone and social security should be privatized. Either way the clock is ticking and there is no money in the future. To ignore this issue is certain catastrophe as out children will not be able to pay for baby boomer entitlements.
Other important election issues:
- Environment and climate change –The consensus debate is not is the climate is changing. But which way it is changing and is it man-made or from natural cycles, no one knows.
- The war in Afghanistan – Most Americans are peaceful, but have accepted the war as a battle against people who want to attack America. However, the question is why has war not been declared as required in the US constitution?
- Military – Some people want a large WWII type military , while others want to bring the troops home and only be involved in conflicts in the USA and believe the military is the largest special interest. The US has troops on the ground in 133 countries, is that too much or should we have more?
- Foreign policy – There are two visions for America. One is a George Washington’s belief that America is the most important. The second is the policy we pursued in practice, that is have a role in the global community promoting US interests and security. Similarly there is the foreign aid is a small percentage of the budget and most people do not have make choices with elections based on this.
- Homeland security – What are your rights to privacy? Does the government use fear to justify incremental decreases in your personal liberty? Where is the balance between the common good and individual liberty?
- Gun control – European no gun model or American right to guns with limited restrictions.
- The family – What is a family in 2012? What role does the US have in defining a family or giving citizenship and benefits to non-traditional families.
- Immigration – In what way do we restrict illegal immigration? Do we build a fence or do we allow random checks near the border? What rights do illegal immigrants have. Should legal immigration quota’s be adjusted to allow for more Mexicans? If police can check someone 100 miles from the broader this is most of the USA as it will include large population centers like New York and Los Angeles and this means the government can check 99% of Americans just on suspicion. As a side note: When I tried to bring my long-term wife into the USA (we have a child), and I am a born and raised American, it was very hard.
- Life – Many people are one issue voters when it comes to pro-life or not. This is the one issue that the economy is not as important for some people. For some people they are one issue voters. The economy and other issues are secondary when it comes to this issue as it has to do with ideals and beliefs. If someone believes a developing baby should be protected, they will not care what the economy is doing as much. These are usually the faithful. On the other hand, if someone believes strongly in terminating this developement, this is more important than their paycheck, they will vote Democrat.
The US political parties
Small government, balanced budget, low taxes, pro-business, pro gun, Pro family, Pro-life,
There are four groups of Republicans.
- Traditional Republicans – Pro family, Pro business
- Religious – pro-life, Pro family, pro religion
- Libertarians – Low taxes, pro business, personal freedom
- Swing voters – Improving government
To clinch the Republican nomination you need to win two of these groups. For example, Mitt Romney has 2 and 3.
Government run health care and a large social system to provide security for all. Government protection of industries and jobs, protect the environment, anti-gun, alternative families.
Low taxes – small government – high level of liberties – small safety net. Ideologically close to Republicans but often seen as taking votes from the Republicans. Watch some Ron Paul videos on YouTube.
More Democratic leaning but all over the board on the issues.
Other parties include Populous and Protectionist etc.
- Barack Obama – Obama is an interesting man. He really represents a practical approach to politics. His views are appealing. Despite hard Republican criticism of him he maintains a good image and is liked by the international community. However, the main criticism, whether people know it or not is that he does not understand economic theory. Boom bust cycles are usually caused by a unnatural expansion of credit by the Federal Reserve bank, a disequilibrium in the money markets which cause disequilibrium in the real sector, not a wave of greed by a conspirator elite class. He is a politician that has a sincere desire to change the system. However, the way he changes it is not optimal for the long-run. 49% Chance of winning in 2012. On a personal note I think Obama will not get re-elected in 2012 as he does not know what is he doing economically. Here are my 101 reasons why Obama will not get elected in 2012.
- Hilary Clinton – competent, hardworking focusing on social issues such as health care. Seen as extreme by many as she has a closet feminist agenda. 35% chance of winning the election. But she will not run.
- Mitt Romney – The Republican front-runner. Low taxes, small government, pro family. 45 % chance of winning the election.
- Herman Cain – I would love to see a Obama Cain battle in the 2012 election. Cain is a practical real world businessman while Obama the political idealist.
- Ron Paul – Champion of the US Constitution and the little guy though balancing the budget, abolishing the income tax and the Federal reserve, also stands for transparency in government. Ron Paul is also against the industrial military complex and empire building, where the US is in 135 countries.I will vote for Ron Paul.
- Rick Perry – Conservative and commands the Texas advantage, bringing a lot of electorate votes.
Lesser known candidates but real contenders for the Presidency in 2012
Rick Santorum – Senator from Pennsylvania
On this page on the US presidential election of 2012 I wanted to be objective. However, just so you know where I personally stand here is what I believe in Politically.
My Libertarian views– low taxes, small government, free trade makes countries rich and people happy, being independent and freedom to choose and make your own life in many ways, very proactive help for the poor with a negative income tax replacing most of the State and Federal government. Private prisons, private schools with every citizen given te right to choose the school their child goes to. Generally reduce the burden of government in every way possible.
My Republican views – Protection of the innocent and respect for all life as life is sacred and from our divine creator. Life is not something that can be regulated by the market or diminished with social trends. Life is divine and needs to be protected and respected. I believe in Family values, I am a husband and a father. A balanced budget amendment is a very good idea.
My Democratic views – I believe in a some gun regulation. Many people might object to this, but people are often mentally unstable in my personal experience. I am an American and EU citizen and having no guns here means, few violent crimes. There are some people who just are not acting with the same respect for others and should not carry guns. Protection of the environment as it is a public good. I do not want to debate climate change, it is a pointless circle, but nature needs to be preserved as it is a shared good. Theodore Roosevelt understood this. I have no problem with diverse ethic or social preference, America is a melting pot. Helping the poor though food stamps and education etc. I believe giving every child a chance to compete is good for the individual and society.
My Pacifist views – I believe that life is sacred and to send a child across the seas to fight for some abstract political ideology that does not involve the protection of innocent people is questionable. However, in history there were times when force was necessary. Wilson and Lincoln understood this in different ways. Wars of imperialism is not the America I come from or what George Washington or Thomas Jefferson envisioned.
Who do I usually vote for? I am liberal but in a Libertarian way. What does this mean? My views come from the enlightenment and the founding fathers. That is reduce the burden of government and this will help all people.
I am a Libertarian but I vote Republican because I believe as an economist they understand free trade and small government. I think ironically as it sounds Republicans help the poor the most. Think of Ronald Reagan. I am a family man and Republicans protect family values and are pro-life and promote freedom of religion not freedom from religion. I do have problems with the Republicans on many issues. However, life, the family issue as well as small government, low taxes, balanced budget, helping the poor with greater economic freedom are the most important for me. If the Democrats were for life and the Republicans were not, I would be a Democrat. If you want to read more of my views read my view on what makes a bad US President.
Who will you vote for in the 2012? Please leave a comment and let me know if I have left anything out of this page, and take this election poll.
US presidential election Poll
Additional resources to help you make a more informed vote
- US election information – Official US government site with a simple to use search and a lot of information about the electorial college.
As the election nears I will be updating this post on the Presidential race so please check back and let me know who you support and why.