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Elections, Unit 3

American Presidential Election Update

The Economist is full of excellent bits on the 2012 Presidential Election:

The brilliantly titled ‘Mormonism and the Etch- a- Sketch’ is an astute look at the lability of Mitt Romney- this is a man who has experienced a virtual personality transplant in recent times but as the Economist points out Romney’s audience (a Republican Primary voter) is very different from the audience he will play to in November. I sense that this incarnation of Mitt may not be the version that is evident come November.

http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2012/03/mitt-romney-0

Also at the Economist a straightforward analysis of the pros and cons of Romney as the Republican nominee – does he have what it takes to be POTUS?

http://www.economist.com/node/21542767

Looking at the other side of the contest the Economist examines what Obama has been up to and how his strategy differs from that of the Republicans. The different focus of the Obama campaign is revealed in his spending patterns, which prioritise the grass roots (a tactic that worked well in 2008):

“Whereas Mr Romney has spent $14m on television and radio advertising, Mr Obama has devoted only $3m to that. Instead, he has spent $12m on online advertising, to Mr Romney’s $1m, and $15m on staff, to Mr Romney’s $5m. Mr Romney’s headquarters, in a drab low-rise building in Boston, is a fraction the size of Mr Obama’s.”

http://www.economist.com/node/21552590

Finally campaign finance- super PACs are the big story of the election so far, the amount of money being spent on 2012 is likely to be staggering. We had a taste of their impact in the 2010 mid terms but this seems to be a pale imitation of what is to come…

This piece suggests that super PACs are having an irreversible impact on US politics- it is full of examples and stats that are well worth making a note of.

http://www.economist.com/node/21548244

In contrast to the doom and gloom surrounding the impact of PACs- my final link to the Economist suggests that they might actually be an asset to democracy, I’m not sure I’m convinced but its a good evaluative point for an essay!

http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2012/02/superpacs

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