The 57th presidential election occurred on November 6th, 2012. Incumbent president Barack Obama easily managed to win the electoral college against Republican candidate Mitt Romney 332 to 206. He carried seven out of the eight swing states, only losing in one to Mitt Romney; North Carolina by 2 percent. Barack Obama was the first incumbent president to win reelection with fewer electoral votes since Franklin Roosevelt in 1944.
Both competitive parties ran relatively benign campaigns. Mitt Romney faced multiple challengers in the Republican primaries, and performed poorly early in the cycle in traditionally red states. He lost to challengers Rick Santorum in much of the Plains and Deep South, and Newt Gingrich in South Carolina and Georgia. Barack Obama and the Democrats were more unified - no one successfully ran against him in the primaries.
Most political pundits considered the race to be tight. Barack Obama's first term occurred during the worst recession in eighty years, and unemployment rates remained high despite economic regulations put in place. However, he was still supported by most liberals and the Democratic base for his somewhat left wing social stances, at least compared to George Bush Jr, and successfully implementing the Affordable Care Act. Barack Obama ran a notably more centrist campaign compared to his first - and it lacked the message of 2008's to bring a "sweeping revolution" to American politics.
Public opinion surveys suggest Mitt Romney won the first two debates, and Barack Obama won the final.