The 2012 Presidential Election
Let me explain the term, "running for office."
"Run" is the verb for trying to become a president or other elected official. "Office" is the political job, for example: president, governor or mayor. When someone is running for office, they are trying to get votes, as well as money and support, from the public.
The two candidates for this year's Presidential election are Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. You know about Barack Obama, but do you know Mitt Romney?
Mitt Romney is 65 years old. Early in his life, he worked as a businessman. He started a company called Bain Capital that bought companies and sold them for profit. He became a very rich man. Later, he entered politics. In 2003 he became the governor of the state of Massachusetts. Mitt Romney's father was a very successful businessman and politician too. His father also ran for president but lost.
Obama (pictured on the right) is a Democrat and Romney (pictured on the left) is a Republican. Do you know about Democrats and Republicans? They are the two major political parties, or groups, in America. Both parties have different ideas.
Democrats are liberal. They believe that things need to change to get better. Republicans are conservative. They believe that change can sometimes be wrong and cause problems for society.
Democrats are more concerned about improving the lives of workers. Republicans are more concerned about business and believe that socialism is bad for society.
Democrats want more diversity and equality for everyone -- women, minorities, immigrants and the gay community. Republicans are mostly strong Christians and their faith is very important to them.
Democrats are pro-environment and they believe in global warming. Republicans believe the environment doesn't need to be protected because it gets in the way of doing business. For example, it is better to drill for oil in Alaska to keep gas prices down than protect the polar bears.
Republicans are also pro-guns, want a strong military, want less taxes and smaller government.
In a 2012 poll, 27% of Americans were Republicans, 31% were Democrats and 40% Independent.
Usually in a bad economy, the people want to change the president, but President Obama is currently leading in the polls. Mitt Romney is having trouble because he is seen as a rich millionaire who is out of touch with average people. Who will win the next election? I guess we'll find out on November 6th!
1. What are the two major political parties in the United States?
2. What political office did Mitt Romney hold?
3. What party is pro-guns?
4. What percent of Americans are not Democrats or Republicans?