Political Participation




Holdingelections is one of the most fundamental pillars of democracy in thecontemporary human society. This is primarily as a result of thebelief that they are a representation of a fair and free choice bythe governed to select their leaders. In the last two presidentialelections, there have been variations and similarities particularlywith regard to election results, voter turnout and campaignstrategies that the candidates used to win the electorate.

Inboth periods, the incumbents (President Bush and Obama) were seekingreelection into the oval office. However, President Bush in 2004 rodeon the mantra of protecting the country from terrorism and advancingthe war on terror. In 2012, however, President Obama rode on thepremise of reducing the presence of American soldiers in theinternational arena. With regard to strategies, while President Bushprimarily used television adverts, bill boards and media campaigns,President Obama made immense use of the social media to appealparticularly to the young people (Stevenson, 2011).

Withregard to the voter turnout, it is noted that the two elections weremore or less at par. As much as there was a 5 million increase in thevoter turnout in 2008 from the 2004 statistics, the 2012 voterturnout registered close to 5 million decrease in the number ofvoters who participated in the elections (United States CensusBureau, 2008) (Berrang, 2012).

Withregard to the results of the elections, the two presidentialelections are similar in the fact that the incumbents werere-elected, which is not surprising as this usually happens in mostelections (Klein, 2012). This may be explained by the fact that theelectorate is already familiar with the incumbents unlike theuntested alternative, not to mention the fact that the incumbentsusually appear to be more presidential as a result of having moreexperience and control over the national conversation (Klein, 2012).


Berrang,A (2012). 2012Election Turnout Dips Below 2008 and 2004 Levels: Number Of EligibleVoters Increases By Eight Million, Five Million Fewer Votes Cast.Bipartisan Policy Center, Web retrieved from&lthttp://bipartisanpolicy.org/press-release/2012-election-turnout-dips-below-2008-and-2004-levels-number-eligible/&gt

Klein,J (2012). The2004 And 2012 Elections: A Comparison. Anneberg Media Center. Webretrieved from &lthttp://www.neontommy.com/news/2012/08/2004-and-2012-elections-comparison&gt

UnitedStates Census Bureau (2008). VoterTurnout Increases by 5 Million in 2008 Presidential Election, U.S.Census Bureau Reports. UnitedStates Census Bureau Webretrieved from&lthttps://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/voting/cb09-110.html&gt

Stevenson,R.W (2011). CanObama 2012 Replicate Bush 2004? New York Times, Web retrieved from &lthttp://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/10/21/can-obama-2012-replicate-bush-2004/&gt