The 2012 republican candidate website explains that the Republican Party traces it roots to the Federalist Party active in the late eighteenth century. It continues to state that on 6th July 1854, Alvan Earl Bovay and Thaddeus Stevens officially announced the formation of the Republican Party. This party was by then a break away faction of the ruling Federalist party. Interestingly, its rise to power was immediate as it produced its first president, Lincoln, barely four years after it fielded the first presidential candidate. It has hitherto produced seventeen presidents for the United States of America and served a total of eighty eight years in office. In addition, the website also reiterates that “the party boasts of 55 million registered voters, the second largest in the country, and is known as an advocate of American conservatism, espousing the role of religion, nationalism and economics at its core”.
Political parties in the United States select their presidential candidates through caucuses and primaries (Longley). The Republican Party is no exception. Therefore, the Republican's 2012 campaign for the White House has not been an easy task. This is because the aspirants had to hop from states to states trying to convince voters that they were the right candidates to face President Obama in the coming elections. According to the greenpaper.com the nomination process started on 13th August 2011 in Iowa and is set to end on 30th August 2012 at the 40th Republican National Convention. To date, out of the sixteen declared candidates, only two candidates remain in the race: Mitt Romney and Ron Romney. Mitt Romney is believed to be on the blink of securing this nomination since Ron Paul delegate count is way too low (MacAskill). Despite this, the republican nomination has not been smooth sailing. For example, the presidential candidates have constantly verbally attacked each other in public. Instead of focusing on their common enemy, president Obama, the aspirants have been busy exposing their weaknesses and those of their peers. This has been seen by many analysts as a plus for president’s Obama’s campaigners since deep holes have already been dug in the would-be republican nominee. This research paper discusses the Republican's 2012 campaign for the White House.
Corcuses Verses Primaries
Delegates to the Republican National Conventions are chosen at the state level as dictated by the rules set by party's state committee (Longley). However, whilst these rules change from state to state, two methods of choosing these delegates stay put: the primary and the caucus (Longley). Longley continues to explain that a republican caucus is where registered party members gather to discus the republican candidates. These members are separated according to the candidate they support while the undecided voters congregate in their own group. The decided members are then charged with the responsibility of persuading those on the opposing side and the undecided to join them. Later on, members of all the groups representing the candidates are counted and the group with the highest number of voters emerges victorious. Afterwards, delegated for the party’s conventions are calculated and allocated to the candidates. The only caucus in the 2012 republican race, to the greenpaper.com, took place on Tuesday 3rd January 2012 in Iowa.
Just like the general election, voters participating in a primary go to the polls and cast ballots in secret for their preferred candidates (Longley). Longley continues to state that depending on the state conducting the primaries, voting can either be open to all registered voters or closed to accommodate republican voters only. The results of these primaries then dictate which candidates are granted delegates at the national Party’s convention. During this year’s nomination, primaries and caucuses conducted before April 1 were allowed to allocate delegates proportionally (except Florida and Arizona). On the other hand those taking place after this date can allow the winner to take all the delegates (Longley).
The 2012 republican presidential candidate nominations campaigns, like any other in the history of the Republican Party, were highly charged. According to the 2012 republican candidate website, the total number ofdeclared republican presidential candidates was sixteen. This meant that these were the only candidates cleared to participate in the republican caucuses, primaries and the national convention. These candidates included, going by the website,Fred Karger, Kathyern Lane, Andy Martin, Jimmy McMillan, Tom Miller, Ron Paul, Mitt Romney, Matt Snyder, Vern Wuensche ,Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman, Tim Pawlenty, Rick Santorum and Rick Perry.
Out of the sixteen presidential candidates only four have been able to win the delegates count in the contested states(MacAskill). These candidates comprise of Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum. Mitt Romney has won in 26 states while the rest have shared spoils in eight states. Momentarily, the total delegate count for Mitt Romney is 724 while a combined total of the other three candidates stand at 402.Romney only needs 1,114 delegates attending the August convention in Florida to clinch the nomination (MacAskill). According to many, Ron Paul, the other remaining candidate, is not even remotely close to this figure. The presidential nominee is mandated to select his running mate (Longley). Therefore, the next assignment for Mitt Romney, if he secures the nomination, is to select the person who will become his vice president if he goes on to win the presidency. This will not be an easy task as he has to find a person that can provide the much needed impetus in his campaign.
Additionally, the republican nomination has not gone down without drama. These nominations, have had their ups and down. In some cases, instead of focusing on issues, the republican candidates openly criticized each other. For instance, according to (Walter) Romney and Gingrich exchanged harsh word in the Florida debate. Bacon continues to say that his led to Romney calling Gingrich, “an influence peddler". On the other hand, Gingrich portrayed Romney as a weakling in a number off issues. These exchanges are seen by many analysts as being detrimental to the eventual republican presidential nominee. This is because his fellow candidates have exposed most of his weaknesses to the democrats. Walter quotes Pete Hoekstra, a Michigan senate candidate, saying that, “Using the last few months of this primary process to attack other Republicans is problematic”. Pete continues to say that a sustained republican nomination process will be healthy for the party. However, he cautions that this will only happen when the two remaining presidential candidates, Mitt Romney and Ron Paul, stops tearing in to each other.
Away from the side shows, most of these candidates tried to convince the electorate by explaining their strategies on how to turn around a seemingly lousy economy and lower the unemployment rate (Rove and Gillespie). However, none is concentrating on Obama’s foreign policies. It is clear that handling foreign matters is one of Obama’s strengths. However, Rove and Gillespie believe that the president also has some weakness in this area. In recent years, man people hold the notion that the US is losing its global relevance. On the contrast, other emerging superpowers such as China are growing from strength to strength. This is something that the Obama administration has constantly denied but a potential republican candidate should be able to use this against Obama. After all, “politicians taking politicians out of context is nothing new and the practice won’t come to an end anytime soon,” (Kempite). Therefore, we actually can’t attack a candidate for playing politic as usual (Kempite).
The Republican Party has a long history in the USA’s election. Additionally, this history is embedded in an unwavering legacy. Therefore, all aspiring candidates must try and uphold this legacy. Their winning of the next general election will greatly depend on a disciplined approach to their campaigns. Moreover, they must keep in mind that Obama is also electable and they have a tricky assignment to undertake. Therefore, it is high time that all the candidates that have dropped from the race endorse the likely. In so doing, they will be able to able to concentrate their energy on a common and hopefully form the next government. Furthermore, they should concentrate more on issues instead of personalities as this was one of the few things that lacked in their primaries.
Kempite. How Will the Media’s Double Standard Play out Regarding Obama’s Osama Ad? .2012. 4th May 2012
Longley, Robert. About The Primary - Caucus - Convention System. How our Presidential Candidates are Chosen. 4th May 2012.
MacAskill, Ewen. Romney Sweeps Five States and Turns his Focus to Obama. The Guardian 25th April 2012. (Washington). 4th May 2012.
Rove, Karl and Gillespie, Ed. How to Beat Obama. The President is Far More Vulnerable than he thinks in Foreign Policy. 2012. 4th may 2012 http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/02/27/how_to_beat_obama?page=full
Walter, Kathleen and Gould, Martin. Hoekstra to Newsmax: GOP Candidates Must Stop Tearing Each Other Apart. 2012. 4th May 2012
2012 Presidential Primaries, Caucuses, and Conventions Chronologically. 4th May 2012.
2012 Republican Candidate. 4th May 2012.