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Analysis and Comment (22)

President Obama’s superior organisation outweighed the money stacked against him. EPA/Michael Reynolds

SuperPACs and bags of cash fail to halt Obama’s ground game

The fear of Big Money swamping the 2012 federal election cycle in the United States was borne out in sheer dollars, with $US6billion in spending, including $2.7 billion on the presidential race alone…
After defeat in the 2012 election, it is back to the drawing board for the Republican Party. But will they address the true concerns of the electorate? EPA/STEPHAN SAVOIA/POOL

Republicans trust voter modelling - why not climate modelling?

Tuesday, November 6 was a game changer. The Republican Party in the United States has come to understand that the political environment has been altered. White males can no longer dictate the results of…
President Barack Obama hugs Sandra Fluke, who was vilified by the right for her views on contraception. EPA/Rick Giase

It’s the women wot won it: Democrat victory was no Fluke

A president’s first act in office carries considerable symbolic weight. After President Obama was sworn in in 2009, the first piece of legislation he signed was the Lilly Ledbetter Act, allowing women…
Ignoring climate change isn’t stupidity, it’s ideology. Peter Foley/EPA

A storm of stupidity? Sandy, evidence and climate change

“It’s global warming, stupid” – Bloomberg’s Businessweek cover last week left little doubt about their opinion concerning “Frankenstorm” Sandy. The accompanying tweet anticipated that the cover might “generate…
As New York City firefighters look over two houses struck by trees in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, both Republicans and Democrats worry about the impact on voter turnout. EPA/Justin Lane

Why Sandy could be the ‘October Surprise’ of the 2012 presidential election

On November 4, 1979 when Jimmy Carter’s presidency depended on gaining the freedom of the US hostages held by Iranian student militants, he was unable to achieve this goal even when it looked like the…
President Barack Obama would be well advised to catch some sleep on the plane during his whirlwind tour. EPA/Michael Reyonds

Obama’s all-nighter: fast, furious and foolish

Politicians of all persuasions often claim they need little sleep to lead their nations. Thatcher, Hawke, Abbott, Rudd, Berlusconi and Clinton are all examples of this “on the job 24 hours per day” club…
Voters in Florida casting their votes through electronic voting, introduced in the wake of 2000’s “hanging chad” controversy. EPA/Rhona Wise

A foreigners’ guide to US election technology

Elections in the United States are run by state authorites that use a wide variety of voting technologies, often with newsworthy results. Some computerised elections have even awarded the election to the…
Barack Obama, pictured with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has been accused of throwing Israel “under the bus”. EPA/Aaron Showalter

Why Obama and Romney are both supporting a particular Israel

At the same dinner party that Mitt Romney infamously told his $50,000-a-plate supporters that 47% of the American public are slackers, he also delved into foreign policy. Romney told his audience that…
President Obama gave a much improved performance in the second of three presidential debates. EPA/Win McNamee

US presidential debate: Obama gets his game on

The president probably wished he could have taken the shot again after his listless debate performance two weeks ago. There are no do-overs in politics. But then, in the second debate in New York, he just…
The challenger and defender: the first US presidential debate has changed the game for Romney and Obama. AAP

Race to the White House: Dennis Altman, Nick Bisley

Welcome to part five of our Race to the White House podcast series. Each week we’ll be talking to Australia’s top US experts on the ins and outs of the 2012 US presidential campaign. This week, Romney…
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney had the edge over President Barack Obama in Wednesday night’s presidential debate. EPA/Shawn Thew

Round 1 to the Republican: Romney comes out swinging

Verdicts on the first presidential debate of 2012 overwhelmingly favour Governor Mitt Romney. Romney articulated his message with a sense of clarity about the political ideas and principles he represents…
What can Mitt Romney learn from previous candidates that trailed but won? EPA/Michael Reynolds

What can Romney learn from past comebacks?

With Mitt Romney entering October as the decided underdog it seems fitting to revisit some past presidential election comebacks. And while these cases are entertaining in and of themselves, they also offer…
Mitt Romney, flanked by Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul during a Republican candidates' debate last year, needs a strong performance in this month’s debates against Barack Obama to save his campaign. EPA/CJ Gunther

Presidential debates loom as Romney’s last best hope

The US presidential election is almost over before the best part – the presidential debates. With Barack Obama looking almost unbeatable at the beginning of October, Republican candidate Mitt Romney’s…
Former governor of New Mexico Gary Johnson is running for president as the Libertarian Party’s nominee, but are third parties relevant in US politics? Flickr/Gage Skidmore

Why disappointment and dissent can’t break the two party system

On Election Day in 2012 many Americans will vote against a candidate they hate, not in favour of a candidate they like. This is often the case. During the 2004 contest between George W. Bush and John Kerry…
President Obama’s charm offensive in the Middle East has been overtaken by the Arab Spring and growing instability in the region. EPA/Khaled El Fiqi

Obama and Romney face off over Middle East policy

When Barack Obama and Mitt Romney commenced their presidential campaigns, Middle East policy was not a top issue. But the Middle East has a propensity to thrust itself on US politics. True to form, the…
Mitt Romney and the Republicans are openly sceptical of climate change. EPA/Michael Reynolds

What happened to climate change? Fox News and the US elections

Climate change has been significantly absent from the US presidential election campaign. President Obama, who made climate change a key plank of his 2008 campaign, has not been anywhere near as vocal in…
Obama met with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in November 2009 in what was seen as a further sign of a strong emerging relationship between the two countries. EPA/Shawn Thew

India, the ‘New Asia’ and the American presidential elections

Any American presidential election reverberates around global policy corners but, for India, the 2012 contest carries unusual significance. With its economy slowing, national government under severe pressure…
Mitt Romney’s 47% comments portray a man out of touch with most American lives. EPA/CJ Gunter

Mitt’s 47% gaffe: the Romney shambles rolls on

At a certain point, Mitt Romney will have to pony up for the monocle and top hat if he wants to heighten his similarities to Rich Uncle Moneybags. Rhetorically, he’s topped out. Romney filled his gaffe…
Barack Obama had a good convention, but it won’t win him the election. EPA/Shawn Thew

Will the Democratic convention bring Obama a poll bounce?

The Democratic National Convention went about as well as the party could hope. The question is, in this partisan political climate, will it be enough to move the polls? The common narrative throughout…

Research Briefs (2)

Voters take candidates on face value

In modern politics, a candidate’s image is everything, linguistic anthropologists researching US presidential campaigns have…