- Published on Wednesday, 09 May 2012 17:01
- Written by Dashalia Singaram
With Mitt Romney winning the republican race the race is now on between Obama to see off Romney in what is expected to be a close race
The race for the American presidency has officially begun. The candidates have been narrowed down to two, and after a controversial first term, Barack Obama is running for re-election against Republican candidate Mitt Romney.
Romney is the sole Republican candidate after competitors Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich dropped out of the race in April. The elections will be held on November 6th, but the campaigning is already in full swing.
Recent polling sees Obama winning 23 of the 50 states, Romney taking 21 and 7 regarded as a toss-up between the two. Taking into account populations, pollsters predict that Obama will win 282 electoral votes with Romney winning only 170. 270 electoral votes are required to win.
Businessman and politician Romney has been described as a “severe conservative” and “not very charismatic”. However, the focus of his campaign seems to be delivering all that Obama has failed to. He said, “In the campaign to come, the American ideals of economic freedom and opportunity need a clear and unapologetic defence, and I intend to make it – because I have lived it.”
Romney has also been criticised during his time in politics for his shifting positions on issues such as abortion and gay rights. He has attempted to keep concerns about his Mormon faith out of his political campaign, instead focusing on capturing the young Independent vote.
Obama dominated the youth vote in 2008, but his limited success in reviving the economy of the USA after the recession has lead to many college graduates withdrawing support. 50% of college graduates in the U.S. are unemployed/underemployed. Also, interest rates on student loans will double from July 1st.
Both candidates have supported the campaign to postpone the increase. Since the tremendous increase in young voters in the 2008 elections, both candidates are focusing on visiting colleges around the country, rounding up support.
This, however, is not the only issue facing Obama. He was strongly criticised for politicising the Osama bin Laden killing which he authorised last year in a recent ad campaign. His approval of free health care for the poor is said to increase the country’s deficit by $1.76 trillion over the next 10 years. And as with all countries, rising gas prices has caused widespread anger amongst voters.
In the coming week, the candidates will be visiting the states of Indiana, North Carolina and West Virginia. Polling ahead of these primaries suggests that Obama will carry North Carolina with 47% of the votes to Romney’s 43%. In West Virginia, Romney is set to trump Obama with a 17 point lead in the polls.
Many are expecting Obama to win. The matter at hand seems to be finding out what he will do differently in his second term, as well as getting answers for the issues raised in his first term.