WEDNESDAY 7 NOV 2012 12:03 PM


Barack Obama won re-election to the Presidency of the United States of America last night, following a campaign that has underlined the importance of trust and reputation.

Favourability polls comparing the Democratic and Republican Parties showed that Democrats were consistently viewed more favourably than Republicans, whose party didn’t register a single net positive rating from February to November 2012. Political blogger and professor of political science Tom Holbrook believes that the negative image of the Republican Party was working in Obama’s favour before polls opened.

The 2012 election also looks set to be the most expensive election ever, with predictions for the total cost reaching as high as $6 billion. Despite forecasts, Obama seems to have just about out-fundraised Romney, though the full extent of donations from super PACs and other outside groups are as yet unknown.

The money spent on communications throughout the campaign was staggering. Over one million political ads aired in this election cycle, leading to some public fatigue with the volume of messaging. Al-Jazeera believes that another 100,000 advertisements, concentrating on swing states, may have aired in the final days of the campaign.

Although trust in Obama may have eroded – and the atmosphere for those of us watching from London last night was decidedly more sober than in 2008 – the relentlessly negative campaigning of Romney was unsuccessful in repairing the reputational damage done to the Republican Party by George W. Bush’s time in office.

Twitter and other social media also played a large part in the election, with both candidates attempting to mobilise voters in the last few days. It is to be hoped that UK Twitter users, so vociferous recently over American elections, will apply a similar vigour in 2015.


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