The United States presidential election in 2012 pits Democrat Barrack Obama, the incumbent, and his vice-president, Joe Biden, against Republican hopefuls Mitt Romney and his vice candidate pick, Paul Ryan.
I have played with both pairs in The Political Machine 2012
, the election and campaign simulation from Stardock, and I am here to report on how the virtual battle for the Presidency can be won by either camp.
I am rooting for Obama in real life so I ran through his game first, using real-world data for the states and the Long game setting, with Normal starting funds and on the Challenging difficulty level.
My campaign got off to a rocky start as Mitt Romney invested heavily in endorsements and quickly managed to get support from all the simulated national organizations, apart from the Sierra Club and the Women’s Coalition, which quickly turned some states bright red.
Early in the race things can change pretty fast and after some speeches and judicious deployment of newspaper ad campaign, I managed to turn California back to my side and then also make some progress in the North East, where the Democrats traditionally do well.
I also set up an early operation in Florida, pushing hard my own support for Social Security and the fact that my own opponent was ready to dismantle the system, which brought on an early lead, supported with some operatives.
After two rounds of televised national interviews, I managed to catch up to Romney in terms of overall popularity and secured liberal coastal states, continuing to hammer my opponent on issues like unemployment, deficit reduction and his position on Obamacare, while also hitting some more local issues like mining, support for farmers and my solid position on Israel.
Biden allowed me to lock down Ohion, a must win state for the Democrats, but Romney and his running mate, Tim Pawlenty, managed to bring Florida to a deadlock while also securing the Midwest.
In the final weeks of the campaign, I managed to once again gain a one-point lead in Florida while getting Pennsylvania back to my side and growing my lead in Iowa and Nevada.
In the end, the human controlled Barack Obama defeated Mitt Romney with more than 300 electoral votes to become President of the United States in The Political Machine 2012.