About 11 months remain before Americans will go to the polls in the 2012 elections. President Barack Obama, the Democratic incumbent, will be seeking reelection, facing off against a Republican opponent yet to be determined. In part because the president is unlikely to face a serious challenger from within his own party during the primaries, most of the early attention is on the Republican presidential field. The race is on, the field is crowded, and it is still anyone’s guess as to who will emerge as the Republican nominee.
For anyone wishing to follow the pitfalls and pratfalls of the political campaigns, a wealth of information is readily available online. News organizations provide instant coverage of events such as debates, campaign stops, and press conferences, and the campaigns themselves post content that they want potential voters to see. Candidates are thus more “visible” than ever—for better or for worse—through the (sometimes viral) spread of videos via the Internet. The “24/7” news cycle guarantees that every incident, however important or trivial, will be immediately reported, instantly analyzed, and as quickly forgotten as the next incident bumps it from the headlines.
Though “election fatigue” may set in long before Election Day (which won’t arrive until next school year), for “political junkies” there should be plenty of news and views to keep you tuned in. You will no doubt hear your fill of what’s wrong with the country and what’s wrong with the candidates. But hopefully, you can become an informed citizen and might also hear something that inspires you to take part in the democratic process.
Image credit: © P. Gangler/Fotolia
- 2012 Election Central
Track the presidential campaign of 2012 through the debates, the primaries, and conventions. This site has it all: videos of candidate forums and debates, links to candidates’ Web sites, media interviews and press conferences, primary schedules, archived content, and more.
(Source: 2012 Presidential Election News; accessed November 30, 2011)
- Election 2012
This Web site devoted to the 2012 election tracks the presidential campaign, news and polling data, Senate and House races, and the national electoral picture.
(Source: Real Clear Politics; accessed November 30, 2011)
- 2012 Interactive Electoral Map
Customize this interactive map: to see how different outcomes state by state would affect the overall electoral vote; includes links to the latest polling data and also allows map views of all past U.S. presidential elections.
(Source: 270toWin.com; accessed November 30, 2011)
- Politico 2012 Live
Politico.com’s Web site includes Candidate Tracker (interactive map), latest poll results, capsule stories on the daily events (plus additional content in Candidate Hub), and much more.
(Source: Politico.com; accessed November 30, 2011)