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How and why did the US electorate become polarised into the red and blue nation we had by 2012? (45 marks)

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Introduction

How and why did the US electorate become polarised into the ?red? and ?blue? nation we had by 2012? (45 marks) In the run up to the 2012 Presidential Election it became evident that both the Democratic and Republican party were fleeing from the political middle and becoming more left and right wing respectively. The two parties have become characteristically split over issues such as civil rights and cultural issues such as abortion, homosexual rights and school prayer. So why has this departure from central ground occurred and why do most of the US electorate have a partisan alignment? During Barack Obama?s first term as president the US economy fell into significant decline with gross domestic product shrinking 3.9 percent in 2009, indicating the worst slump since the Great Depression. ...read more.

Middle

Secondly, the two parties have become idealistically separated amongst the American class, race and gender. Many pundits would argue that the real reason Obama won the election was due to Romney?s flaws. The Republican capitalist approach has fueled the rise of radical conservatism, which in turn has intimidated moderate Republicans into taking more extreme social and political positions. In the process, the Republicans have alienated women, blacks, Hispanics and other minority voters. This is illustrated by Romney?s dedication to build a wall to stop Mexican immigration. For this reason and the policies Democrats pursue fiscally redistributing wealth from the rich to the poor, makes Democrats the obvious choice for minorities. ...read more.

Conclusion

In October 2012 Obama?s approval rating was 49 percent and his disapproval rating was 49 percent. In addition, the Electoral College system used in the election of the US president disfavours third parties who do not receive a majority in a state despite their nationwide support, revealing a distorted result on Election Day. This was revealed in 1992 when Ross Perot gained 19.2% of the popular vote but not a single Electoral College seat. In conclusion, the lack of a powerful third party and the differing ideologies between the two parties has led to a nationwide social divide on the basis of their contrasting views on the economy, environment and social issues such as abortion. ...read more.

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