Presidential Elections 2012
For your convenience, this page provides access to carefully selected websites offering comprehensive and accurate information.
Upcoming events in the electoral race
- First presidential debate: Domestic Policy
Wednesday, October 3, 2012
University of Denver, Denver, CO
- Vice presidential debate: Foreign and Domestic Policy
Thursday, October 11, 2012
Centre College, Danville, KY
- Second presidential debate (town meeting format): Foreign & Domestic Policy
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY
- Third presidential debate: Foreign Policy Monday
October 22, 2012
Lynn University, Boca Raton, FL
Election Day is on November 6, 2012.
The United States Department of State has Foreign Press Centers in Washington, D.C. and New York. The Foreign Press Centers support U.S. policies by helping foreign media cover the U.S.
The section on the 2012 Elections includes timely updates and background information.
The Department of State's Bureau of International Information Programs (IIP) created an Elections 2012 website including latest news and a countdown.
Party Conventions 2012
The Democratic Party convened September 3 to 6 in Charlotte, North Carolina
- official website
- list of all speakers
texts of speeches are available in the section press releases
- President Barack Obama's nomination acceptance speech
- Vice President Joe Biden's nomination acceptance speech
- First Lady Michelle Obama addressing the 2012 Democratic National Convention
- President Bill Clinton addressing the 2012 Democratic National Convention
- Democratic Party Platform
The Republican Party gathered in Tampa, Florida, August 27 to 30.
Full Text Publications
USA Elections in Brief
This revised 2012 edition sketches the way primary and general elections work, not only the role of political parties, but also the nuts and bolts of voting machines and poll workers, opinion polls and campaign finance. Pull up articles individually or open the full publication in PDF format. (January 2012)
American Editorial Cartoons!
Since the first political cartoon by Benjamin Franklin was published in colonial America, editorial cartoons have continued to appear in newspapers, commenting on and sometimes influencing the course of events, as author Stephen Hess recounts. (July 2012)
- Contemporary Developments in Presidential Elections
Jan. 9, 2012 [PDF, 688 kb]
- Presidential Nominating Process: Current Issues
Dec. 30, 2011, [PDF, 305 kb]
- “Super PACs” in Federal Elections: Overview and Issues for Congress
Dec. 2, 2011, [PDF , 448 kb]
- The Help America Vote Act and Elections Reform: Overview and Issues
June 27, 2011, [PDF, 202 kb]
- Presidential Elections in the United States: A Primer
April 17, 2000 [PDF, 296.8 kb]
- The Electoral College: How It Works in Contemporary Presidential Elections
upd. ed. September 8, 2003 [PDF, 37.9 kb]
A Glossary of U.S. Election Terms
IIP Digital, December 28, 2011
Frequently Asked Questions on Political Conventions
IIP Digital, June 1, 2012
U.S. Elections: 2012 Primary Schedule
IIP Digital, June 6, 2012
U.S. Elections: Frequenty Asked Questions
IIP Digital, November 1, 2011
Articles and News Coverage
U.S. Elections 2012
- Dossier by the U.S. Embassy in Brussels -
"Free and fair elections are the keystone of any democracy. They are essential for the peaceful transfer of power. The United States has been a representative democracy since the ratification of the U.S. Constitution in 1788 — although the electoral tradition began during the colonial era and had its roots in British history."
Many of the media outlets already have their special sections in place. Here are some examples:
- CNN Election Center 2012
- C-Span: Campaign 2012
- The New York Times: Politics
- NPR: Election 2012
- Politico: 2012 Live
- VOA - Voice of America: USA Votes 2012
- The Washington Post: Politics
The U.S. Embassy in London produces a series of video clips. Please see box on the right for individual titles.
Key Dates in U.S. Voting Rights
Photo gallery; IIP Digital, October 31, 2011
Ads from the candidate campaigns, national organizations, outside groups and grassroots. In addition the gaffes, the buzz, the debates, speeches, interviews and rallies.
by Scholastic Update
Elections the American Way
Library of Congress; For Teachers
U.S. Electoral College Teaching Resources
U.S. National Archives and Records Admininstration
Linkstipps zur US-Präsidentschaftswahl 2012
Lehrer Online - Unterrichten mit digitalen Medien
[Note: While the introduction and the short descriptions are in German this page links to English language resources only.]
Background About the U.S. System of Government
Following please find links to full text publications discussing various aspects of the U.S. system of government. You can click on individual articles or open the full publication in PDF format.
In the United States, government serves the citizens. It protects their constitutional rights, including freedom of speech and religion, and the right to equal protection under the law. This book depicts American citizens exercising the many rights and privileges that empower them to participate fully in the nation's political, economic, and cultural life. (January 2010)
About America: The Constitution of the United States
This illustrated publication includes the complete text of the U.S. Constitution (preamble, seven articles, and 27 amendments), as well an updated introduction and explanatory notes by J.W. Peltason, author of Understanding the Constitution and Government by the People. The introduction includes sections explaining how the Constitution set up the U.S. federal system, the background to the Constitutional Convention and how the participants arrived at a final version of the document, its ratification, and sections on the call for a Bill of Rights and the need for additional amendments over the years. (July 2004)
About America: How the
U.S. is Governed
This joint publication of the State Department's Bureau of International Information Programs and Braddock Communications presents a comprehensive yet easy-to-read overview of the various levels of and institutions related to government in the U.S. "How the United States Is Governed" describes how federal, state, and local governments are elected, how they operate, and how the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government relate under the U.S. constitutional system. It also highlights how nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and other institutions allow Americans to influence and shape government policy. This publication contains a glossary and a list of useful Web sites. (October 2005)
Outline of the U.S. Government
What makes U.S. government uniquely American...its Constitution, the separation of powers, the concept of “checks and balances,” the decentralized roles of state and local governments, and a citizenry with wide opportunity to be part of it all. (September 2000)
As the elections are unfolding, we will see many more references to websites that provide excellent information. Here are some suggestions for you to explore: