President Barack Obama was reelected to a second presidential term on Tuesday, November 6, 2012 after he was first elected president of the United States of America in the 2008 presidential election. Obama was then sworn in as president for a second time on January 20, 2013. Obama served as the 44th President of the United States from 2009 until 2017.
In the 2012 election, Obama ran against and defeated Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, who served as the governor of Massachusetts from 2003 to 2007.
Result Of The Obama Vs Romney Election
On Tuesday November 6, 2012, Obama received 51.1% of the vote (65.9 million votes) and Romney received 47.2% of the vote (60.9 million votes). Obama received 332 electoral votes after winning 26 states and Washington, D.C. Romney won 24 states and received 208 electoral votes. 270 electoral votes were required to win the presidency and so Obama beat Romney to win the 2012 election.
Obama Defeated John McCain In 2008
President Obama was first elected a state senator in Illinois in 1997 and served in that position until 2004. Obama then decided to run for the U.S. Senate in the 2004 election. He gained national prominence while delivering a keynote speech at the 2004 Democratic Convention in Boston, Chicago during his Senate campaign.
In the 2004 Senate election, Obama defeated conservative pundit Alan Keyes, who was the Republican Party’s nominee. After serving in the U.S. Senate from 2005 to 2008, Obama decided to run for president in the 2008 election.
In 2008, Obama ran against Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination. Clinton up that point had served as First Lady of the United States from 1993 to 2001 and served as United States Senator for New York from 2001 until 2009. Obama became the Democratic nominee for president after receiving 2,272.5 delegates to 1,978 delegates for Clinton.
In the 2008 general election, Obama ran against Senator John McCain (R-AZ). The presidency was open after President George W. Bush served two terms, from 2001 until 2009.
Obama defeated McCain in the general election, winning 52.9% of the popular vote (69.4 million votes) to 45.7% of the vote (59.9 million votes) for McCain. Obama won 28 states, Washington, D.C., and the Nebraska Second Congressional District to earn 365 electoral votes, 85 more electoral votes than the 270 needed to win the presidency. McCain won 22 states and received 173 electoral votes.
After defeating McCain, Obama resigned his senate seat and was sworn in as the first black president on January 20, 2009.
How Obama Won The Democratic Nomination
Obama announced his intention to seek reelection on April 4, 2011. As the incumbent President of the United States, Obama did not receive any serious challenge for the nomination.
Obama won every primary and caucus for the Democratic nomination, winning 90.24% of the vote (7.3 million votes) and earning the more than 2,778 delegates necessary for the nomination. Obama officially won the 2012 nomination on April 3, 2012 after he won the primaries in Washington, D.C. and Maryland.
How Romney Won The Nomination
Romney ran against several prominent candidates for the Republican nomination. These included former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, Rep. Ron Paul (TX), and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (Georgia).
Romney announced his candidacy on June 2, 2011i n Stratham, New Hampshire. The campaign was Romney’s second presidential campaign after he unsuccessfully ran for the Republican nomination in 2008 against the eventual nominee, Sen. John McCain.
Romney lost the 2012 Iowa Caucus to Sen. Rick Santorum. He then won the New Hampshire Primary with 39.3% of the vote. Romney went on to win 52.1% of the votes in the overall primary (over 10 million votes) and earned 1,575 delegates to secure the nomination. His next closest competitor was Sen. Rick Santorum, who received 245 delegates with 20.4% of the votes (3.9 million votes).
Romney was officially named the nominee at the 2012 Republican National Convention on August 30, 2012.
What Happened When Obama Ran Against Romney
Obama and Romney ran against each other on the ballot in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.
Their running mates were then Vice President Joe Biden (who went on to be elected President in 2020) and Rep. Paul Ryan (who went on to be Speaker of the House).
They participated in three presidential debates – on October 3, 2012, on October 11, 2012, and October 22, 2012.
During the campaign, Romney attacked Obama on multiple topics. Romney claimed that the economic recovery from the Great Recession was too slow due to Obama’s policies like the American Recovery Act and that Obama had engaged in “Chicago-style” politics while in the presidency. Romney also attacked the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) and promised to repeal the policy on his first day of the presidency. Romney also criticized Obama for his decision to withdraw from Iraq, which was invaded by President George W. Bush in March of 2003.
Obama ran for reelection citing the end of the recession he inherited from Bush. Obama noted that the economy had added jobs for every month of his presidency and cited the American Recovery Act he enacted as legislation that saved the economy. Obama also noted military accomplishments that had occurred on his watch, including the action he ordered by Seal Team Six that killed Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden on May 2, 2011.
For most of the election, national opinion polling consistently showed Obama with an advantage over Romney. The final average of national polls showed Obama with 48.8% of the vote to 48.1% for Romney. Polling actually underestimated Obama’s support in the election since he eventually won over 51% of the vote.
Obama lost several states that he won in the 2008 election, including Indiana, North Carolina, and Nebraska’s 2nd congressional district. But Obama won “swing” states that Republicans had won in the 2000 and 2004 elections: Colorado, Florida, Ohio, and Virginia.
Obama also won states that have historically been considered major “bellwether” states in presidential elections: Florida, Ohio, and Iowa. Through the 2020 election, Obama was the last candidate to win all three of those states (former President Donald Trump won Ohio, Iowa, and Florida in the 2016 and 2020 elections).
After the major news outlets called the races in Ohio, Colorado, and Nevada for Obama on election night, Romney gave his official concession of the election at 1AM from his campaign headquarters in Boston, Massachusetts.
“I have just called President Obama to congratulate him on his victory. His supporters and his campaign also deserve congratulations,” Romney said. “His supporters and his campaign also deserve congratulations. I wish all of them well, but particularly the president, the first lady and their daughters.”
Obama gave his victory speech from his campaign headquarters in Chicago, Illinois.
“Tonight, more than 200 years after a former colony won the right to determine its own destiny, the task of perfecting our union moves forward,” Obama said.
“It moves forward because of you. It moves forward because you reaffirmed the spirit that has triumphed over war and depression, the spirit that has lifted this country from the depths of despair to the great heights of hope, the belief that while each of us will pursue our own individual dreams, we are an American family, and we rise or fall together as one nation and as one people.
Tonight, in this election, you, the American people, reminded us that while our road has been hard, while our journey has been long, we have picked ourselves up, we have fought our way back, and we know in our hearts that for the United States of America, the best is yet to come.”
What Happened After The 2012 Election
Neither party disputed the official results of the election and the U.S. Congress officially certified the results on January 4, 2013.
Obama was sworn into the presidency for a second term on January 20, 2013 by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts.
In his second inaugural address, Obama said, “Let us, each of us, now embrace with solemn duty and awesome joy what is our lasting birthright. With common effort and common purpose, with passion and dedication, let us answer the call of history and carry into an uncertain future that precious light of freedom.”
Obama served as president until January 20, 2017. Sec. Hillary Clinton lost in the 2016 election to Donald Trump. Trump served as president from 2017 until 2021. Trump was succeeded by Joe Biden, who had previously served as Obama’s vice president and before that as a U.S. Senator. Biden was sworn in as president on January 20, 2021.
After losing, Romney went on to run for the U.S. Senate in Utah, winning his election in November 2018 and serving his term starting on January 3, 2019.