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Presidential Elections 2012

U.S. Elections 2012! Be a part of it!

U.S. Election Breakfast 2008, Kurhaus The Hague. Photo: State Dept.

U.S. Election Breakfast 2008, Kurhaus The Hague. Photo: State Dept.

“In a healthy democracy, elections are the starting point for a stable government that protects minority rights, ensures free speech, respects the rule of law, and promotes a strong civil society.”   -- Eric Bjornlund, co-founded and director of Democracy International Inc., which designs, implements, and evaluates democracy and governance programs.

Welcome to the United States Embassy’s Information Hub for U.S. Elections 2012!  We invite you to stay a while and explore our site.  Did you ever wonder what the big deal was about?  Why Americans get so worked up about their elections? Why the media is in a frenzy? And what in the world are a caucus and the Electoral College?  Find out the answers to those questions and much more right here. 

Close Presidential Race Puts Focus on U.S. Electoral System

Platters of sugar cookies bearing the likenesses of President Barack Obama, left, and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, are available for sale on the counter at the Oakmont Bakery on Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2012 in Oakmont, Pa. (AP Photo/Keith Sr

Platters of sugar cookies bearing the likenesses of President Barack Obama, left, and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, are available for sale on the counter at the Oakmont Bakery on Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2012 in Oakmont, Pa. (AP Photo/Keith Sr

U.S. political polling on how Americans are likely to vote November 6, particularly in hotly contested swing states, has generated many predictions that the contest between President Obama and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney is going to be very close.

Because U.S. presidents actually are chosen by 538 electors rather than directly by the voters, is it possible that neither Romney nor Obama will receive the 270 electoral votes needed to win? Or could one win the most votes overall but lose the electoral vote? Could they even tie, with 269 electoral votes apiece?  More on the electoral system...

What Happens After Elections

President Obama, left, and former President George W. Bush sing the national anthem after Obama was sworn in to office January 20, 2009 (AP Images).

President Obama, left, and former President George W. Bush sing the national anthem after Obama was sworn in to office January 20, 2009 (AP Images).

After losing the 1960 U.S. presidential election by the thinnest of margins, Vice President Richard Nixon declined to challenge the results. Instead, he performed his constitutional duty as president of the Senate in reporting to that body the election of his opponent, Senator John F. Kennedy.

“This is the first time in 100 years that a candidate for the presidency announced the result of an election in which he was defeated and announced the victory of his opponent,” Nixon said. “I do not think we could have a more striking example of the stability of our constitutional system and of the proud tradition of the American people of developing, respecting and honoring institutions of self-government. More on what's happening after elections...

Obama-Romney TV Debates Set for October

Presidential candidate Obama in a 2008 TV debate

Presidential candidate Obama in a 2008 TV debate

Washington — President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney will face off in three 90-minute debates this October, giving still-undecided voters their best chance to compare the two side by side, and allowing all viewers to watch the candidates as they respond to tough questions and react to unscripted moments on live television.  More on Debates...

U.S. Comedians Eagerly Await Presidential Debates

 “Saturday Night Live” 2008 impersonations of Sarah Palin, and Hillary Rodham Clinton (© AP Images)

“Saturday Night Live” 2008 impersonations of Sarah Palin, and Hillary Rodham Clinton (© AP Images)

Washington — Up to 50 million viewers are expected to tune in October 3 to the first of three debates between President Obama and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.

While there are plenty of news stories describing the debates as a last chance for the candidates to win support, Gwen Ifill, who moderated the 2004 and 2008 vice presidential debates, says most voters have already made up their minds. She said decades of polling data “show precious little shift in established voter trends before and after debates,” and the debates serve as much to confirm positive or negative impressions as to alter them.  More...

eJournal USA: Youth Votes! The 2012 U.S. Elections

This issue of eJournal USA looks at how the Millennials — Americans born from the early 1980s to the mid-1990s — are changing the face of the U.S. electorate and politics.

How are they different from previous generations? What is at stake for the Millennial Generation in the November 2012 election? Are they joining the two major U.S. political parties? And why do they support various candidates and causes? Learn more on youth voting...

African Americans Could Prove Decisive in Some Swing States

Attendees at the NAACP annual convention listen to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s speech. (AP Photo)

Attendees at the NAACP annual convention listen to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s speech. (AP Photo)

Some Americans were surprised that presumed Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney addressed the oldest U.S. civil rights organization’s convention on July 11, since African-American support for Republican presidential nominees has dropped well below 10 percent over the past several decades. More on the role of African-American voters....

Latinos’ Political Power Growing, Experts Say

Tamar Jacoby (left), Roberto Suro (center left) and Manuel Roig-Franzia (center right) discuss the power of Latinos in American politics. (AP Photo)

Tamar Jacoby (left), Roberto Suro (center left) and Manuel Roig-Franzia (center right) discuss the power of Latinos in American politics. (AP Photo)

What role will America’s growing Latino community play in the 2012 presidential election? On July 9, a group of experts gathered at the New America Foundation (NAF) to answer this question in an event called 2012 (Veinte Doce): The Latino Election?

More on the role of Latino voters...

In U.S. Elections, “Swing State” Voters Get the Most Attention

This graphic by the website 270towin.com shows the swing states as of July 10 in yellow, with states likely to support Romney in red and Obama in blue.

This graphic by the website 270towin.com shows the swing states as of July 10 in yellow, with states likely to support Romney in red and Obama in blue.

Washington — As President Obama and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney work the campaign trail between now and November, some paths will be more heavily traveled than others.

All votes — and voters — are important, and all states will be visited by the candidates or their surrogates. Campaign staffs and political action committees will flood the airwaves with advertisements and reach out to potential voters by phone or mail. More on "Swing States" ....