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.