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The US Election Case Essay Sample

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The US Election Case Essay Sample


The current US president, Barrack Obama was born in 1961 in Honolulu, Hawaii in US to Stanley Ann Dunham and Barrack Obama Sn. Part of Obama’s education was received in Jarkata where he went to local schools; Besuki Public School and another school called St. Francis of Assisi School. Obama also attended Ponahou School from the time he was in his fifth grade up to the time of his graduation at high school (Washingtonpost.com.).

After completing his high school studies Obama moved to Los Angels in the year 1979 where he attended Occidental collage after which he moved to Columbia University which is in New York City for further studies in political science specializing in international relations. He completed his studies in the year 1963 and worked with the Business International Corporation followed by another organization by the name New York Public Interest Research Group.

Obama went back to study law in Harvard Law School in 1988 and during the summer he went to Chicago where he worked as a summer associate at a law firm. After completing his studies in Harvard, Obama returned to Chicago. He served as a professor at the University of Chicago for 12 years where he taught constitutional law. There are several other leadership positions that Obama held before going into politics.

Obama was in 1996 elected to the Illinois Senate where he succeeded his predecessor state senator Alice Palmer. He was also re-elected in 1998 where he defeated his republican opponent Yesse Yehudah. He managed to retain this seat till the time of becoming the president.

John McCain

On the other hand John Sidney McCain was born in 1936 and graduated from U.S. Naval Academy in the year 1958. He participated actively in the Vietnam War and almost died when the aircraft that he was flying was shot down. He entered into politics in 1981 after his retirement from the Navy the same year. He was elected to serve in the US senate in 1986 after serving for two terms in the House of Representatives. McCain was re-elected as a senator for Arizona with ease in 1992, 1998 and 2004. He ran for presidential nomination on a republican ticket in 2000 but lost to George W. Bush. In 2008 McCain managed to secure a nomination to run for US presidency on a republican ticket against Obama.

Campaign effectiveness of the candidates

During the campaign the performance of the two candidates (McCain and Obama) in the live debates helped the candidates to win more votes depending on their performance. The major issues that were of great concern were how the candidates could revamp the country’s economy and their foreign policies especially on the issues of Iraq.

While addressing the issue of Iraq McCain said that the war had  not been conducted well at the initial stages, but said that finally the war had been steered in the right direction and it would be soon be worn under the good strategy of a general that he described as being great. Obama on the other hand differed strongly with his opponent saying that the war was not about to be worn. He said that McCain had been wrong about the war from the beginning. He also accused McCain of not being able to anticipate the uprising which was against US forces and the violence that was being experienced between different religious groups in the country.

On the economy issue McCain said that he would put into consideration the government not funding anything else except for the defense, entitlement programs and veterans affairs as a means of ensuring that the government expenditure is cut down. Reacting to this suggestion Obama said that this was not the right thing to be done as he compared it to using   a hatchet instead of a scalpel. He went on to say that there were some programs like early childhood education which were not receiving enough funds from the government and that they needed more funds from the government as a matter of urgency.

In the debate Obama said that there was need for US to have earmark reform but he recognized that earmarks only was not in itself able to boost the lives of the middle class people of the country. The two candidates went further to talk about how they would reduce taxation with the republican candidate saying that he would lower taxes as away of encouraging job growth in the country. Obama proposed to reduce the tax burden of 95% of American families.

The campaign strategy of the two candidates also played a big role in determining who was to become the country’s president for the next four years. The Obama team saw the need of having campaign to the grass roots. There was door to door campaign encouraging the voters to attend the campaign rallies. The youth were given active roles to play during the campaign. Obama team used modern technology to the maximum a good example use of Face book to organize rallies. On the other hand McCain team did not capitalize on the door to door grass root campaign and dwelled on the high office campaign. The young stars were not also given much room in McCain campaign (East African).

Campaign funding

The money used for campaign for the two candidates was raised by the parties. The Democratic Party raised a lot of money in tune of $600 million which was some how more that what it needed for the campaign. Because of this amount of money the democrats managed to stage a very aggressive campaign in states which are traditionally known to be republican’s. The funds were used in staging fantastic outdoor events that catered for hundreds of thousands of people. The money raised was also used to put up campaign advertisement on television at prime time which is very expensive. As much as this advertisement helped in selling the ideas of the candidates to the voters some of them were detrimental as they had hatred to their rival candidates. This mode of campaign did note appeal to the voters and as a result some of the candidates who were using smear campaign ended up losing votes from the electorate.

Theories of Obama winning


Obama age as compared to that of McCain has been sited as one of the reason that made him win. With his opponent being in his 70s while Obama being in his 40s many people thought that his age was the right age of being the president. At one point when a research was contacted to find out the electorate’s opinion on the age of there candidates 34% said that they would not vote for McCain as he was too old to be the president.

Unpopularity of the Republican Party

The Republican Party with which Obama was competing with was not very popular. In the year when McCain was running on the republican ticket the party had only 27% support of the Americans meaning that the majority of the people preferred to be identified as democrats. This was attributed to the unpopular rule of George W. Bush in the previous eight years. Some of the policies that were implemented by Bush like the invasion of Iraq were very unpopular and this made people to desire a total change in the rule of the country.

Obama’s ability

Obama was a candidate that was said to be of charisma compared to the former president Ronald Reagan. His discipline during campaign was also compared to that of the former president Kennedy and during his campaign he rarely made mistakes and when one was made it did not stick. His devotion to his family raised his appeal to many voters in addition to the fact that his campaign was well organized. Other people liked Obama as he was said to be a good orator and handsome too.

Support from young voters

Young voters, irrespective of their race, started supporting Obama at early stages of the campaign and never abandoned him throughout his journey to the white house. About 30 million of US citizens are under 30 years of age and a good number of them are illegible voters. With the support of this youth the dream of Obama becoming US president was made a reality.

Use of technology

The previous campaign was dominated by the republican in terms of use of modern technology like advertisements on the internet and use of television. But in the Obama campaign the democrats outsmarted the republicans in the use of technology. This was boosted by the fact that Obama had the support of the majority of the young stars who are the lovers of modern technology. In one of the campaigns held at one of the American university the organization was done through Face book by the students. 

International appeal

Obama had support from all over the world including the Muslim countries. For example one of the research carried out indicated that Obama had 92% supports in Netherlands compared to 8% for McCain while in Germany he had 85% as compared to his opponents 7%. A similar trend was observed in Asian countries like in Taiwan Obama had support of 81% of the votes while McCain had only 6%. In Australia where the majority is whites Obama was favored with 76% of the votes while his rival had 10%. As much foreigners do not vote in America and they do not contribute to the voting process in monetary terms, their opinion matters a lot when it come to the Americans electing their president and this put Obama on the winning side. 

The unsatisfied electorate

From political science point theory when more that 50% of the electorate are convinced that a country is not on the right track, it follows that the candidate that is using the ticket of the current party will have a narrow chance of winning. This is what happened to the republican candidates in favor of the democratic candidate. (Washingtonpost.com) During the campaign period the American economy was in a bad state that is said to have only been experienced over 30 years earlier and the mess was attributed to the Bush Republican regime. Most of the voters were convinced that if McCain was given the mantle to lead the nation he would retain the Bush policies and therefore make them continue suffering. The electorate therefore was yearning for change that included the changed of a ruling party and wanted somebody who differed with Bush in many aspects when it came to the policies implementation.

Work Cited

Washingtonpost.com. “Tiny Irish Village Is Latest Place to Claim Obama as Its Own”

  1. April 25 2009


“Barack Obama: Creation of Tales”. East African.   November 1, 2004. April 25 2009 http://web.archive.org/web/20070927225314/http://www.nationmedia.com/EastAfrican/01112004/Features/PA2-2212.html.

Jones, Tim. “Obama’s mom: Not just a girl from Kansas: Strong personalities shaped a future senator”. Chicago Tribune. March 27, 2007. April 25 2009 http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/nation/politics/chi-0703270151mar27-archive,0,91024,full.story.

Washington Post Candidates April 25 2009

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