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 Barack Obama (D, incumbent, won 2012 election)

Experience: President of the United States
Residence: Washington, DC
Family: Married, 2 children
Education: BA, Columbia University; JD, Harvard Law School
Official Website: www.barackobama.com

Barack Obama (born Aug. 4, 1961) is the incumbent Democratic president, and he’s the first fully declared candidate in the 2012 election, having announced his reelection in a YouTube statement emailed to supporters on April 4.

The political decisions of his first term -- from TARP to the deficit to health care reform to unemployment -- were the political fodder on which his political opponents based their budding campaigns through the primary season. His approval ratings were at a high of 64 percent nationally in February 2009 and have dropped steadily as the country has careened from one domestic or international crisis to another … and another … and another. But poll numbers can be cyclical -- both Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton had similar first term numbers and handily won re-election. The president’s re-election efforts included massive fundraising, which climbed over $1 billion.

Obama's efforts to get re-elected started in earnest over the summer with visits -- sometimes repeat visits -- to the swing states that will decide the November election.

As of late August, the Associated Press had identified seven battleground states: Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Ohio, Nevada, New Hampshire and Virginia, which offer a combined 85 electoral votes.

It's been apparent here in the Granite State -- with its four Electoral College votes -- because of the repeated visits by Obama, his wife Michelle, Vice President Joe Biden, and a bunch of surrogates. The Romney campaign, too, has been focused here with visits by the candidate, running mate Paul Ryan, and various GOP surrogates, including Republican U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire.

As one political analyst put it: "Right now, New Hampshire is a state both campaigns believe they can win. In a close election it's essential for each side to fire up their bases - the goal is definitely to keep energy levels high."

The race for New Hampshire is a toss-up, according to various polls.

Just how important a state New Hampshire became was evident by the fact that in the last weekend of the campaign, the state was deluged with the candidates and their surrogates.

Obama was in Concord on the Saturday before Election Day with former President Bill Clinton. Romney had two trips -- one on Saturday morning and another on Monday - a big election eve rally (and his last campaign appearance of the election) at the Verizon Wireless Center in Manchester.

In the end, as close as everyone thought it might, Obama handily defeated Romney both in the Granite State and nationally.

He won re-election to a second term with 50.7 percent of the popular vote, versus 47.7 for Romney. The Electoral College vote was 332 to 206.

The Granite State, with its four electoral votes, went 51.9 percent for Obama and 46.4 percent for Romney, topping off a Democrat sweep of offices that included governor (Maggie Hassan), Congress (Carol Shea-Porter and Annie Kuster), a majority in the New Hampshire House, and a majority in the Executive Council.




Position on the Issues

Economy, Budget & Taxes:
"President Obama’s central focus is on stimulating economic recovery and helping America emerge a stronger and more prosperous nation. The current economic crisis is the result of many years of irresponsibility, both in government and in the private sector. As we look toward the future, we must confront the many dimensions of this crisis while laying the foundation for a new era of responsibility and transparency."

"President Obama’s aims to restore fairness to the tax system by providing the Making Work Pay tax cut to 95 percent of working families while closing loopholes that prevent wealthy companies and individuals from paying a fair share."

National Security & Foreign Policy:
Refocus war on terror to Al Qaeda in Afghanistan while ending American involvement in Iraq; keep nuclear weapons away from terrorists; support Israel and Mideast peace; build and strengthen American alliances abroad.

Immigration:
"Our broken immigration system can only be fixed by...a complete solution that secures our border, enforces our laws, and reaffirms our heritage as a nation of immigrants. He believes our immigration policy should be driven by our best judgment of what is in the economic interest of the United States and what is in the best interest of the American worker."

Health Care:
Signed the Affordable Care Act in March 2010, saying it would lower costs and increase access to health care, while reducing waste and abuse by health insurance companies.

Education:
Against "'off-the-shelf' testing"; wants to support teachers while making them more accountable. Goals including closing the achievement gap, and increase access to higher education.

Energy & Environment: Supports nuclear power and increased natural gas use; on oil, has recently called for both increasing and eliminating subsidies.

Social Issues:

  • Abortion: Pro-choice.
  • Gay marriage: In February 2011, Obama administration said that his administration would no longer defend the Defense of Marriage Act, believing it to be unconstitutional. DOMA, passed in 1995, defines marriage as being between a man and a woman.
  • Gun laws: Called for "greater enforcement of gun control laws and better background checks" following the shootings in January 2011 in Tucson, AZ.

 

Interest Group Ratings:

  • As of February 25th, 2011, NumbersUSA - 2012 Presidential Hopefuls gave President Obama a grade of F- based on what President Obama says a President should do about immigration.
  • In 2009 Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence gave President Obama a grade of F.
  • In 2008 Citizens for Global Solutions gave President Obama a grade of A.
  • In 2008 Vote Hemp gave President Obama a grade of B+.
  • In 2007-2008 National Education Association gave President Obama a grade of A.
  • In 2007-2008 U.S. English gave President Obama a grade of F.
  • In 2007-2008 Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America gave President Obama a grade of B.


Sources:
Candidate website, Whitehouse.gov, USA Today, Politico, VoteSmart.org

 

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Campaign Finances

2012 Campaign

Raised $715,677,692
Spent $683,546,548
Debts $7,223,153
Cash on Hand $5,397,399
End Date Nov. 26, 2012

 

Individual Contributions
 - Small Individual Contributions
 - Large Individual Contributions
$715,150,163
$233,215,440 (33%)
$489,660,089 (68%)
(100%)
PAC Contributions $0 (0%)
Candidate self-financing $5,000 (0%)
Other $522,529 (0%)

Source: Center for Responsive Politics, OpenSecrets.org

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Contact Information

Office:
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, D.C.

Phone:
202-456-1111

Email:
www.whitehouse.gov/contact

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