November 6, 2012
– @BarackObama tweets “This happened because of you. Thank you.”
– CNN announces the presidential election results “to New Yorkers and the world” on the Empire State Building: Barack Obama is re-elected.
– Obama sends the most retweeted and famous tweet of 2012: 700,000 retweets in 14 hours.
Analysis of results:
Two hundred and seventy votes were needed to become president.
Barack Obama gathered 303 votes against 206 for Mitt Romney.
93% of African-Americans
71% of Hispanics
60% of those under 29
60% of those earning less than
54% of women.
The statistics are
Barack Obama won thanks to the massive vote of minorities, especially African-Americans (13.6% of the population, 2nd largest ethnic group) and Hispanics (14% of the population, 3rd largest group).
Geographical distribution: see detailed results on the diagram at the end of the article
The election of the United States Congress:
In addition to the election of the
the United States also votes for a new composition of its Congress
Congress, the country’s legislative body.
Congress is composed of two houses:
—The US House of Representatives: 232 Republicans to 191 Democrats.
Republicans dominate the House of Representatives
representatives, but lost 2 seats.
—Senate: 54 Democrats to 45 Republicans
Democrats dominate the Senate and gained 1 seat.
The Democrats emerged victorious in the election.
Presidential elections in the United States
The election is held every 4 years.
There are 50 American states.
For each US state:
—There are Great Electors.
—The American people elect these electors.
—These electors are
numerous: between 3 and 55 (the bigger the state, the more electors there are)
—These electors will have to elect the president of the United States, they have indicated for whom they will vote.
For each state:
—Once these electors are elected, we establish statistics in each state: how many electors will vote for each will vote for each candidate
—The candidate who leads this count in the state, then wins the favor of the whole state and all the electors: “winner-takes-all”
For example, among the Great
voters in California, 59% voted for Obama, only 39% for Romney
for Romney. Result: all the votes are converted for the winner, Obama’s
winner, Obama, who wins 100% of the votes.
—All states included,
there are a total of
—To win, the candidate must receive a majority of the electors: 270
Congress: (direct vote)
—The House of Representatives of the
House of Representatives: all members are renewed every two years.
—The Senate: only one third of the members are renewed.
Elections are held every two years on Election Day: the Tuesday following the first Monday in November
Monday of November.
Once out of 2, the elections fall at the same time presidential elections; otherwise this day is called “mid-term elections”.
2 candidates from 2 dominant political parties
Obama → Democrats: from
More “supportive” economic system,
Romney → Republicans (also called Grand
Old Party): right-wing
More capitalist economic system,
This representation is
France, we would consider:
Democrats: center right
Republicans: hard right
With very little influence, these candidates are from weak political parties, or independents.
There were 13 of them in 2012.
English Vocabulary about Elections
Before the election:
a presidential election – a presidential election
a presidential campaign
to run for – faire campagne
to take a poll – faire un sondage
an opinion poll – an
measure popularity – to
the Republican Party – the
the Democratic Party – the
to be left-wing – to be left-wing
to be right-wing – to be
le premier tour — the first
the second round – the
register on the electoral lists
s’abstenir — to abstain
vote – to vote
elect – to elect
to go to the polls – to go to the polls
a polling station – a
un scrutin – a ballot
a candidacy – a
a ballot slip – a
a blank bulletin – un bulletin blanc
After the elections:
→ the Senate – the
→ the House of
the House of Representatives
Articles to read for practice
prepare effectively for the Sciences Po exams, nothing beats the
Practice. Here is a selection of articles that could be useful for.
Sciences Po exams this year.
The New York Times:
Obama Wins a Resounding
but the balance of power in Washington remains unchanged:
The Washington Post
At Romney headquarters, the defeat of the 1%:
A Divided Country