The Race Is On!
With the presidential primary season over, the general election campaign begins
After 56 primaries and caucuses, 17 debates, and a fierce struggle among 9 candidates, the 2012 Republican presidential primary season is finally over.
On Tuesday, Utah held the final Republican primary of 2012. Mitt Romney won the state with 93.1 percent of the vote. He also claimed all 40 of the state’s delegates. But the election was just a formality. Romney had won enough delegates to claim the nomination at the end of May.
Now that the primary race is officially over, Romney and his Democratic opponent, President Barack Obama, can focus on campaigning to win the general election. Romney and Obama have both already begun working hard to sway voters ahead of Election Day on November 6.
Many polls have the two candidates in a virtual tie. Last month, an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll showed Obama leading Romney, 47 percent to 43 percent. A Quinnipiac poll released today shows the President with an edge on Romney in the swing states of Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. A swing state is a state where neither candidate has a strong majority in the polls.
“The President’s overall margin is built on his big lead among women, younger voters, and African-Americans,” Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, said. “If he can keep those leads in all three of these key swing states through Election Day, he would be virtually assured of re-election.”
DEBATING THE ISSUES
Two weeks ago, Obama announced a plan to allow some illegal immigrants who were brought to the United States as children to remain in the country. Romney responded by telling voters his plans for immigration reform, one of the big issues in the election.
This week, both candidates are bracing for the Supreme Court to rule on whether the President’s health-care reform law, nicknamed “Obamacare,” breaks rules set by the U.S. Constitution. Obama has said these health-care reforms are a key accomplishment of his presidency. Romney has criticized them as bad for the economy and bad for the country. The Supreme Court’s decision will have a major impact on how both candidates speak about this issue during their campaigns.
Romney is also working on selecting a running mate for the general election. That person would become Vice President. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Ohio Senator Rob Portman, Florida Senator Marco Rubio, and former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty are widely thought to be possible candidates for the spot. The politician Romney chooses as his running mate could significantly help or hurt his image among voters.
Romney will announce his selection before the start of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida, which takes place from August 27 to August 30. There, Republicans will formally nominate Romney as their party’s candidate. Democrats will hold their convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, from September 4 to 6.
Andrew Liang is a member of the Scholastic News Kids Press Corps.
Check out the Republican primary tracker map and keep up with all the latest election news on the Election 2012 website.
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