The year 2012 is now behind us, and we are looking forward to the new year, as 2013 starts off with a plunge of the fiscal cliff. First, though, let’s look back at the biggest winners and losers in the world of politics for 2012, a year which saw the most expensive election yet held.
The most obvious winner of the year in the political arena is President Obama, who won his re-election over Republican challenger Mitt Romney. The two spent a combined total of two billion dollars on their campaigns (counting associated PAC’s and super-PAC’s), more than any other election in history.
By the same token, Mitt Romney was the biggest political loser of the year, with a losing campaign marred by a string of goofs and gaffes, the likes of which has not been seen since Bob Dole, or perhaps Michael Dukakis.
Chris Christie should also be mentioned as a political winner of 2012 for gaining new allies on the other side of the aisle and being able to pass legislation with bi-partisan support.
The biggest winner on the Republican side was likely Paul Ryan, who went from little-known Congressman to household name when he was tapped as Mitt Romney’s running mate. Although he was reviled by many on the left, such wrath only served to strengthen Ryan’s popularity with the right. With no incumbent running in the 2016 presidential race, last year set Ryan up for a solid run at the Oval Office in 2016.
Scott Walker also survived his recall election on June 5th. This type of election had never before occurred in the state of Wisconsin, and polls showed that despite only having the approval of a slim majority of voters, most did not think he should be pulled from office after only 18 months.
People advocating for the legalization of marijuana received their biggest victory yet when the voters of two states, Colorado and Washington, became the first places in the United States to fully legalize cannabis. How Washington D.C. responds is another part of the story which remains to be seen.
The Libertarian Party, which boasts itself as the largest third party in the United States despite never receiving more than one percent of the vote in a general presidential election, also came up as (slight) winners in 2012. Their candidate, Governor Gary Johnson of New Mexico, brought in about 1.1% of the popular vote, squeaking out a new record for that 40-year-old political party.
Women as a whole were certainly winners in the year in politics which was 2012. Four new women were added to the ranks of the U.S. Senate, and New Hampshire became the first state to ever be led by an all-female congressional delegation and governor.
It will be interesting to see what 2013 has in store for us in the world of politics. Do you have any idea who will be on next year’s winners and losers list? Let us know below.