On Tuesday, November 6, 2012, the United States will choose its president for the next four years. The process is already starting, and one of my former students (hi Lauren) was wondering about how the whole thing works…
In July, 34.8% of adults consider themselves to be Democrats, virtually unchanged from 34.7% in June. The number of Republicans fell from 35.6% in May to 34.4% in June to 33.1% in July. That’s the lowest total for the GOP since July 2010.
For Democrats, the current results are in the middle of a narrow range they’ve occupied for the first six months of 2011.
Voters not affiliated with either party grew from 31.0% in June to 32.1% in July.
And here’s a screen capture from Wednesday evening’s Washington Post:
And for those who have been paying attention to early polls, there was an Iowa Straw Poll on August 11 — here are the results:
|6||Rick Perry (write-in)||718||4.3%|
|7||Mitt Romney (write-in)||567||3.4%|
Rasmussen’s GOP primary poll results showed Perry leading both Bachmann and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney by double-digit margins: 29 percent of poll respondents favored Perry, versus 18 percent for Romney and 13 percent for Bachmann.
- May 5, 2011, Greenville, South Carolina – The debate, the first of the 2012 race, was hosted by the South Carolina Republican Party and Fox News Channel. Paul, Cain, Pawlenty, Santorum, and Johnson participated.
- June 13, 2011, Goffstown, New Hampshire – The debate was hosted by CNN, WMUR-TV, and the New Hampshire Union Leader at Saint Anselm College. Bachmann, Paul, Gingrich, Cain, Pawlenty, Santorum and Romney participated.
- August 11, 2011, Ames, Iowa – The debate was hosted by the Iowa Republican Party, The Washington Examinerand Fox News Channel. It took place two days before the Ames Straw Poll. Bachmann, Cain, Gingrich, Huntsman, Paul, Pawlenty, Romney and Santorum participated.
- September 7, 2011, Simi Valley, California – The debate will be hosted by the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library,NBC and Politico. It was originally scheduled for May 2011 but was pushed back due to the small number of candidates in the race in March 2011, when the decision was made.
- September 22, 2011, Orlando, Florida – The debate will be hosted by Fox Newsand Florida Republican Party.
- October 11, 2011, Hanover, New Hampshire – The debate will focus on the economy and will be hosted byDartmouth College, Bloomberg News, Washington Post, and WBIN-TV at Dartmouth College.
Republican Primary and caucus dates
- February 6 – March 5, 2012: Early states (Iowa caucuses, New Hampshire primary, Nevada caucuses, South Carolina primary)
- February 6 – Confirmed date of the Iowa caucuses
- February 14 – Expected date of New Hampshire primary
- February 18 – Confirmed date of the Nevada caucuses
- February 28 – Confirmed date of the South Carolina primary
- March 6–31, 2012: Primaries (and other contests) that provide for proportional allocation of delegates to the candidates, and all nonbinding caucuses;
- April 1, 2012 onward: All other contests.
A future post will distinguish between a caucus and a primary.
As the incumbent, President Obama has the advantage of not having to worry about winning the Democratic nomination. Whereas the Republicans have to criticize each other (and President Obama, as you can see from the Rick Perry advertisement, if you viewed it) and sort of beat each other up, the Democrats will likely be behind President Obama.
The election will really pick up after the parties hold their conventions at the end of next summer — here’s the schedule:
- August 27–30, 2012: Republican National Convention to be held in Tampa, Florida
- September 3–6, 2012: Democratic National Convention to be held in Charlotte, North Carolina
From that point on, expect a non-stop barrage of advertisements and debates as the two parties try to convince the middle of the country that their candidate is the better choice. Let’s hope for civil discourse, but given the recent track record from both parties, it could get ugly. A future post will examine the tone of politics today in the US and why it got so disrespectful.