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A Busy Girl’s Guide to the Presidential Elections

After the party conventions this summer, the democratic and republican nominees will vie for the presidential election. Photo by Flickr user DonkeyHotey.

Let’s face it: we’re all very busy, and none of us really know what’s happening in this year’s presidential election. Even if by some miracle we do have time to learn about the latest updates, all articles and stories about this topic are so packed with jargon that they are incomprehensible to the average Middle School girl! As a naïve student and citizen, I’m hoping to give you a brief and easily understandable overview of next year’s elections.

The election process begins with nominating candidates for both major parties: this year President Obama is the Democratic candidate, of course, but currently the Republican candidate is being determined through primaries. Basically, these are when the Republican voters get to decide who will be their party’s candidate, going up against Obama in the general election. The candidate with the most delegates is officially announced at the Republican Convention this August in Tampa, Florida. After that, the Republican and Democratic nominees gather as much support as they can until the national elections in early November 2012.

Currently, there are four possible Republican candidates: Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, and Rick Santorum. Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, is considered the most moderate candidate, even though he agrees with the other candidates’ policies. He currently holds the clear lead with 105 delegates. In second place, Santorum, previously a senator from Pennsylvania, has 71 delegate votes. He has very firm opinions against abortion and gay marriage. In third place, Gingrich has 28 delegates. This previous Speaker of the House is a smart and a bold debater, but he often becomes too emotional. Also, despite his “family values,” Gingrich cheated on his past two wives. Finally, Paul is an important member of the Tea Party and was a House Representative from Kentucky. He has only 18 delegates and very strict views against the government getting involved in the economy, welfare, health care and wars.

I believe Romney will be chosen as the Republican candidate, but after that the general election between Obama and Romney should be close. The next two important election dates are upcoming in August, when they announce the Republican candidate, and then again in November for the elections between Obama and his Republican opponent.