|‹ 2008 2016 ›|
|Republic of Superior Presidential Election, 2012|
|November 6, 2012|
|Nominee||Frederick Cullen||James Kelleher|
|Running mate||Michael Lahti||Dan Meyer|
|Nominee||Tony Martin||Dan Benishek|
|Running mate||Mike Prusi||Frank Lasee|
|Presidential election results map. Blue states are those that voted for Kelleher. Red states are those that voted for Cullen. Orange states are those that voted for Martin.|
President before election
The 2012 Presidential Election in the Republic of Superior was the eighth in its history. With the President declining to run, citing his incredibly poor showing in opinion polls, the race was considered to be wide open. The fallout from the Saguenay War and the revelation that the government of Presidents Sarick and Newman actively supplied and aided the Lawrence Raiders played a major role in the campaign. Governor Cullen, running for the Liberal Democrats, defeated the candidates of the other parties - ex-Senator Kelleher of the Conservatives, Governor Martin of the Socialists, and Congressman Benishek for the National Republicans - quite handily.
Liberal Democratic Nomination
- Congressman David Orazietti, Chippewa, 2008 VP Candidate, announced November 26th, 2010, withdrew March 26th, 2012.
- Congressman Michael Lahti, Houghton, announced January 24th, 2011, withdrew May 18th.
- Former Mayor Debbie Amaroso, Sault Ste Marie, 2000 VP Candidate, announced August 5th, 2011, withdrew January 15th, 2012.
- Territorial Representative Michael A. Brown, Manitoulin, announced February 4th, 2011, withdrew May 2nd, 2012.
- Governor Frederick Cullen, Mackinaw, announced August 13th, 2011, became nominee on May 22nd, 2012.
- Senator Steve Lindberg, Marquette, announced August 10th, 2011, withdrew May 22nd, 2012.
- Governor Jeffrey S. Crochet, Mackinac, 1984 VP Candidate, announced December 13th, 2010, withdrew August 14th, 2011.
Still stinging from their defeat in 2008, the Liberal Democrats vowed that 2012 "would be their year." However, for 2009 and much of 2010, Conservative numbers stayed high, buoyed by the fighting in the east. Yet, as things took a turn for the worse, and Superioran forces were thrown back from Gaspe, so did the polling numbers improve. Accusations that the Republic had supplied and aided the Lawrence Raiders, while unproven at the time, hurt too. Even more so was the Treaty of Manchester that May, which while in theory a draw for the government, was viewed in many corners as a loss.
In late August, League of Nations investigators announced preliminary results of their investigation, as per the treaty: while they did have much work to do to determine who was ultimately responsible, they could definitely prove that the Superioran government had indeed been up to exactly what the rumors had said - something definitely against international law. And this presented opportunity for the Liberal Democrats, as they had been out of power the entire time, and even Secretary of State Feingold had no idea what they were up to, though it did hurt his standing slightly, leading him to decline to run.
By the end of the year, as more and more information was released by the investigators, Liberal Democratic numbers increased against the President. While not quick enough to impact the Congressional elections much, a few Conservatives did lose their seats - however, they did retain their super-majority, though barely. Shortly afterwards, the first candidates, Congressman Orazietti of Chippewa and Governor Crochet of Mackinac, announced their candidacy in late November and mid-December, followed by Congressman Lahti of Houghton and Territorial Representative Brown of Manitoulin in January and February, respectively.
The announcement on August 5th by President Newman - by now lightly implicated in the investigations, though, despite attempts by the opposition in Congress, unimpeachable in the Conservative-held Congress - that he would not be running again, citing his "health," changed the situation more, opening things up even further. Former Mayor Amaroso announced her candidacy later that day, though with little chance of it going anywhere. Within days, Senator Lindberg of Marquette announced his candidacy in Stowe, being quoted as saying "with the President no longer running, the time is now ripe for the scandalous Conservatives to go down."
On the 11th, the first debate amongst the candidates was held in Houghton. Much sparring occurred between Governor Crochet and Congressman Lahti throughout the debate over minor policy issues, with the others getting jabs in where possible. However, the winner of the debate, in the eyes of observers, was Territorial Representative Brown, and his more libertarian-style views, who managed to knock all the other candidates back down a peg.
The first major opinion poll of the candidates occurred on August 13th in Iron Mountain. They showed Congressman Orazietti in front with about 30% supporting him, followed by Congressman Lahti with 25%, Senator Lindberg with 15%, Territorial Representative Brown with 10%, and the remaining amount split between the other two announced candidates and various write-in votes. Across town, popular Governor Cullen of Mackinaw, long rumored to be entering the race, formally announced his candidacy. Within days, informal polls showed the governor ahead of Orazietti. Governor Crochet, with his abysmal performance in the poll, announced in St. Ignace on the 14th that he was withdrawing from the race.
Polling by the Sault Star on September 18th showed Governor Cullen leading over Senator Lindberg, 35% to 25%, and the other candidates ranging from fifteen to three percent. The Straw Poll in Baraga on September 22nd, however, had Senator Lindberg leading at thirty percent, closely followed by the Governor at twenty-five percent, and then Congressman Orazietti and Lahti, as well as Territorial Representative Brown at ten percent, and in last place Former Mayor Amaroso at five percent, with the remainder either choosing "none of the above" or "undecided."
The second and final debate between the candidates was held on October 11th, 2011, in Iron Mountain. In another raucous debate, Senator Lindberg and Governor Cullen - in a much more refreshed performance tonight - traded barbs through the evening. Congressman Orazietti and Representative Brown put in a good performance as well, drowning out both Lahti and Amaroso. Pundits consider Lindberg to have won the debate, though opinion polling continues to have Representative Brown thought of as the winner.
Polls conducted in the republic since the Liberal Democratic Debate on the 11th were published on the 16th, in the Sunday Edition of The Mining Journal of Marquette. The results indicated that Governor Cullen still had a slight lead of three percent over Senator Lindberg for the Liberal Democratic nomination, though Territorial Representative Brown has moved into third, only five percent back of Lindberg. Congressmen Lahti and Orazietti followed at eleven and seven percent, respectively, with Amaroso polling under five percent. The remainder were still undecided, however.
The final straw poll of the season was held on November 5th, 2011, in Manistique, Schoolcraft. The winner of the poll turned out to be Governor Cullen, with more than half of those polled voting for him - about fifty-two percent. Representative Brown came in second with a surprisingly strong showing - thirty percent. Congressman Orazietti and Senator Lindberg tied for third, at about six percent apiece, followed by Congressman Lahti at five percent, and the remainder going to write-ins and the other candidates.
Polling data gathered by the Menominee Herald-Leader during mid-November was published in its Sunday edition, on November 20th. Once again, Governor Cullen held the lead, with thirty-eight percent of those polled supporting him. Senator Lindberg, as expected, followed at a reduced twenty-three percent. But, his lead was surprisingly narrow - Representative Brown followed almost immediately behind, with twenty percent. Another ten percent went to Congressman Lahti, four percent to Congressman Orazietti, two percent to Former Mayor Amaroso, and the remainder went to write-in choices.
On December 1st, Governor Crochet called a press conference in St. Ignace. At the conference, he endorsed Senator Lindberg for the nomination.
National polling done for the Green Bay Press-Gazette over the week following the December 5th Conservative debate was published on December 11th, in their Sunday Edition. With the endorsement on the first, Senator Lindberg's support shot up from the last poll, with his support now totaling thirty percent, a single point back of Governor Cullen. Representative Brown's support increased as well, rising to twenty-two percent. Congressmen Lahti and Orazietti, along with Former Mayor Amaroso, remained at ten, four, and two percent, respectively. Only a single percentage went on record as being undecided.
The paper also had a poll conducted in the state of Dickinson, the site of the first primary. It indicated that at that point in time, Senator Lindberg held the lead in the state.
A new national poll, along with another Dickinson poll, the last ones before the first primary, was conducted by the Iron Mountain Daily News on December 29th. Governor Martin maintained his lead, ahead of Senator Lindberg by three points. Representative Brown saw his support fall back down, and more, to eighteen percent. Congressman Lahti was fourth written percent, trailed by Orazietti and Amaroso at six and five percent, respectively. Senator Lindberg, however, maintained his lead in Dickinson, leading Governor Cullen by six percent.
Following the Dickenson and Chippewa primaries, both of which she placed last in, Former Mayor Amaroso withdrew from the race on January 15th, throwing her support behind the winner of the Chippewa primary, Governor Cullen.
Congressman Orazetti was the next to withdraw, leaving the race on March 26th, following several disappointing weeks in which the only delegates he picked up were from the small territories on the north shores of Lake Superior and Huron, and a small number from the state of Luce - his only delegates from voting states. He too endorsed Governor Cullen for the nomination, saying that being well-known nationally following his role in getting Mackinaw admitted to the republic would make him the best chance for the party to reclaim the presidency.
Despite his large victory in the Manitoulin primary on April 26th, Representative Brown placed a very disappointing fourth in the Keweenaw Caucuses on May 1st. After deliberating through the night, he announced at a press conference the next day that he was leaving the race. He, however, declined to endorse anyone at that time, stating that he would endorse the overall winner of the primary season.
Congressman Lahti, following a horrid performance in the Iron primary, and several poor performances in the weeks prior, announced on May 18th that he, too, was withdrawing from the race. He had been under pressure to withdraw for a while by the party, which wanted its contest to be over as soon as possible, so that they could turn their attention to the extremely divided Conservatives, who needed to go to their convention to decide their candidate. He endorsed Governor Cullen for the nomination.
Following a major victory for Governor Cullen in the Delta primary on May 21st, Senator Lindberg called a press conference in Marquette the next day. He announced his withdrawal from the race for the nomination, saying that he knew at that point he had no chance of even taking it to the convention, given polling from the remaining primaries being heavily in favor of the governor. However, he declined to make an endorsement, saying he would "hold off until the convention."
Following the primaries in the Dunn and Grand Traverse territories on May 29th, Governor Cullen hit the so-called "magic number" of three hundred and forty six, clinching the nomination after having been the presumptive nominee for the previous week.
The final primary was held on June 1st, 2012, in the Beaver Archipelago.
Governor Cullen spent the summer looking at potential picks for the lower half of the ticket, and campaigning throughout the republic.
The party convention was held from September 3rd-6th, 2012, in Marquette, and was hosted by Mayor John Kivela and Congressman Steven Wiig. Frederick Stonehouse, the party candidate for Governor of Marquette, and a Marquette city councilor, was the keynote speaker. At the behest of Governor Cullen, he nominated Congressman Lahti for the lower half of the ticket. Lahti was easily confirmed for the role by a large margin, with only a few votes going to so-called "local sons," or by supporters of the failed candidates.
|Color key:||1st place||2nd place||3rd place|| Candidate has|
|Presidential Ballot||Vice-Presidential Ballot|
|Frederick Cullen||353||Michael Lahti||593|
|Steve Lindberg||140||Michael A. Brown||49|
|Michael A. Brown||99||Bob Carr||26|
|Michael Lahti||70||Steve Lindberg||23|
|Jeffrey S. Crochet||2|
- Vice-President Horatio Weston, Ontonagon, announced August 8th, 2011
- Senate Majority Leader Tom Casperson, Delta, announced August 10th, 2011, withdrew January 25th, 2012
- Congressman Dan Meyer, Gogebic, announced August 15th, 2011, withdrew April 12, 2012
- Senator Peter Pettalia, Mackinaw, announced September 1st, 2011, withdrew May 16th
- Congressman Samuel Carey, Marquette, announced August 29th, 2011, withdrew February 15th, 2012
- Former Senator James Kelleher, Chippewa, 1992 VP Candidate, announced August 22nd, 2011
- Territorial Representative Goeff Hansen, Michigan, announced August 29th, 2011, withdrew February 18th, 2012
- Congressman Matt Huuki, Houghton, announced August 10th, 2011, withdrew March 9th, 2012
On August 5th, 2011, after opinion polls the previous day showed that he would fail to win re-election, badly, President Newman announced that he would not be seeking re-election, citing poor health. It is believed that even the potential Socialist candidates came ahead of him in the polling data, a first in the history of the republic, which is why he actually was not doing so.
The following weeks would be filled with candidacy announcements, as Conservatives began to vie for the now-vacant position, and smelling blood in the water, more Liberal Democrats and Socialists began to come forward. Vice-President Weston would be the first Conservative, on the 8th, to announce, saying "I believe in this country. We are at the dawn of a new age, and are in a position to be one of the brightest stars on its stage, and it is high time we took our place on it. As such, as of this moment, I am now running for the position of President of the Republic of Superior."
Senate Majority Leader Casperson would be next, blaming both Weston and Newman for the scandals and corruption - however, within hours, allegations would appear that as head of the senate, he was fully involved. That same day, the young Congressman Huuki, from Houghton announced his candidacy, saying that "Stowe needs a new, younger face, at the helm" - however, as barely old enough to be eligible to be elected, he has little to no chance of going anywhere.
In the weeks after that, other less vocal candidates - Meyer, Carey, Kelleher, Hansen and Pettalia - would file for it. While each would hold their own press conferences, none would be as attended as the earlier ones would be, nor were any more memorable quotes gathered by those in attendance.
The first debate between the candidates was held on September 14th, 2011, in Iron Mountain. Casperson and Weston spent most of the two-hour long debate ripping each other apart, with the other candidates usually joining in on the attacks on the Vice-President. Polling after the debate indicated that those in attendance thought that Weston had lost badly, looking "like a deer stuck in headlights," and that the Majority Leader had managed a narrow victory.
The first Conservative straw poll of the year was held on September 16th, 2011, in the town of Bessemer. Congressman Meyer, the hometown candidate, won the poll with forty-five percent. Vice President Weston came in second with twenty-nine percent, followed by Senate Majority Leader Casperson and Congressman Huuki at eight percent, with the remaining candidates splitting the remainder fairly evenly.
A poll published in the Sault Star on September 18th, the first national poll published after the debates, showed the tangled nature of the candidates, with not one topping fifteen percent. Weston and Casperson both topped the list at thirteen percent, followed by Kelleher and Pettalia at eight, Huuki and Carey at seven, Meyer at six, and Hansen at five. The remaining thirty-three percent went to "none of the above."
Polls conducted in the republic since the Liberal Democratic Debate on October 11th were published on October 16th, in the Sunday Edition of The Mining Journal of Marquette. Overall, the situation changed little. Majority Leader Casperson continued to hold a bare lead over Vice-President Weston, 15% to 14%. Immediately following them were Former Senator Kelleher at eleven percent - his experience resonating with voters, despite past issues from 1992 - Senator Pettalia at nine percent, Congressmen Carey and Huuki at six percent, and Congressman Meyer at five. Territorial Representative Hansen brought up the rear at three percent. The remainder was still undecided, however.
The second Straw Poll of the Conservative season was held in the state of Alger on October 18th. Results showed that Majority Leader Casperson was the victor with fifty-five percent of the vote, followed by former Senator Kelleher with fifteen percent, Congressman Huuki with eight, most of the other candidates with about five percent each, and then Territorial Representative Hansen at the back with two percent.
Polling done nationally by the Menominee Herald-Leader during mid-November, and published in their Sunday edition on November 20th, showed the situation just as muddled as ever. Casperson and Weston remained deadlocked at fifteen percent, followed by Kelleher and Pettalia at twelve percent each. Carey and Huuki followed with eight percent, tailed by Meyer at five. Representative Hansen, however, fell to just a single point. The remainder went to write-in candidates - rumor has it that most of these went to President Newman.
The final straw poll of the election season was held on November 30th, in Menominee. In a reflection of his increased poll results of late, former Senator Kelleher topped the poll with half of all the votes. Majority Leader Casperson followed with twenty percent, with Vice-President Weston following at twelve percent, and Congressman Huuki with ten. The remaining eight percent was split between the remaining four candidates.
The final debate before the primaries was held in Green Bay on December 5th. With his newly-perceived status as a potential front-runner, former Senator Kelleher came under attack from the other candidates. He managed it well, though it deflected his message. Most pundits agreed that the other candidates seemed to lose their messages as well in their attacks - only Congressman Meyer managed to stay somewhat above it, and was considered to have won the debate.
National polling done for the Green Bay Press-Gazette over the week following the debate was published in their Sunday Edition, on December 11th. As with every other poll, the Conservative picture remained murky. In a new development, ex-Senator Kelleher has risen to the top of the polling heap, with seventeen percent of those polled supporting him, in what is likely a sign of both his experience and dissociation with the current problems plaguing the Conservatives nationally. Casperson and Weston, unsurprisingly, followed at a reduced thirteen percent each. Senator Pettalia, and in an upwards move, the more libertarian-minded Congressman Meyer, were next at eleven percent. Hukki was next, with a continued eight percent, trailed closely by Congressman Carey with seven percent. Territorial Representative Hansen remained in last, with a slightly increased two percent. The remaining total went to write-in candidates - and in a new development, the pollsters totaled these up, and found that seventeen of that eighteen percent were for the President.
The paper also had a poll conducted in the state of Dickinson, the site of the first primary. It indicated that at that point in time, Vice-President Weston held the lead in the state.
Ex-Senator Kelleher managed to keep his lead in polling data gathered by the Iron Mountain Daily News on December 29th, holding an eighteen to seventeen point lead over the Vice-President. Majority Leader Casperson and Senator Pettalia followed close behind at thirteen and twelve percent, trailed by Congressmen Huuki and Meyer at ten. Congressman Carey and Representative Hansen brought up the rear, at nine and three percent each. The President continued to get a fair percentage of write-in votes. And, in the Dickinson polling data, The Vice-President led Meyer twenty-nine to twenty-six percent, holding his lead there.
On January 17th, 2012, a report was published in The Superior Times which claimed that Majority Leader Casperson had been having an affair with one of the Senate aides. While no names or hard proof was offered, the Senator's responses were far less than adequate, and his reputation took a nosedive - along with his support. Despite his denials, this was proven accurate when he only missed placing last in the Houghton primary by the skin of his teeth - a mere dozen votes. As a result, he withdrew from contention on the 25th. As of yet, he has declined to endorse anyone.
Congressman Samuel Carey of Marquette, after doing abysmal for the first few weeks of he primary season, managed to eke out a very narrow win in the Marquette primary on February 14th. However, knowing that, as his home territory, he should have won it handily, and that such a narrow win meant his campaign was doomed to fail, he withdrew from the contest the very next day. He then endorsed former Senator Kelleher for the nomination.
Three days later, it was the turn of Territorial Representative Hansen of Michigan Territory to leave the primaries. Despite winning the contest in his home territory handily, he had placed last in Marquette only days before, and on the same day as his victory, also placed last in the Slate Primary. And following his withdrawal speech, he endorsed Vice-President Weston for the nomination, saying that he believed that Weston would be a better choice for the territories than Kelleher.
On March 9th, Congressman Huuki, never considered a threat to win the nomination, also left the race, following a month and a half of failed campaigning since his victory at home in Houghton. Viewing Kelleher and Weston as both being compromised - in his words, "the old guard of the party" - he endorsed his fellow Congressman, Dan Meyer, for the nomination.
Despite Huuki's endorsement, Meyer continued to do poorly, placing third or forth in every primary. Following a last place finish in Baraga on April 11th, he too announced his withdrawal from the race, on the next day, saying that he needed to think of his family, and that while he wanted to continue to run, he had sat down with his family following the loss and they had made the decision to withdraw, just as they had made the decision together to run in the first place. He also grudgingly endorsed former Senator Kelleher.
Senator Pettalia announced his withdrawal from the race for the Conservative nomination, at a surprise press conference, on May 16th. It had been thought he would continue up until the convention in August, since no candidate could possibly secure the nomination at that point. However, rumors had also indicated that he had a shortage of funds, and a low level of support, as indicated in his performances in the primaries. The Senator declined to make any endorsements, saying that he would "talk about it at the convention."
It was expected that about 342 delegates were going to be needed to clinch the nomination prior to the convention. However, as of early April, it became impossible for any of the candidates to achieve this marker - so it will go to the convention.
The final primary held was held on June 1st, 2012, in the Beaver Archipelago.
Following the last primary, former Senator Kelleher held a lead in delegates over the Vice-President, who had, however, won more primaries overall. Both spent the summer campaigning among the party faithful, aiming to win the nomination at the convention.
The convention was held from August 27th-30th, 2012, in Crystal Falls, and was hosted by Governor Lorraine Seratti. As expected, it was a rough affair, with much yelling back and forth. Supporters of ex-Senator Kelleher even engineered the man that both parties viewed as holding the support essential for victory, Senator Pettalia of Mackinaw, to give the prestigious keynote address.
On the 28th, the voting for the presidential nominee began early in the afternoon. After the first round, as expected, the candidates threw their supporters behind the leading candidates. However, it did little to change the situation - the overall totals changed, but the picture did not.
Casperson's delegates, almost all from Chippewa, went over to Kelleher just prior to the third ballot, almost certainly with permission from Casperson. This put Kelleher just barely short of victory.
Making some sort of promise to Pettalia - later found to be the lower half of the ticket, which Kelleher had not been willing to give - Weston zoomed ahead of Kelleher in number of delegates. Yet, he too came up short, just barely.
But of the fifth - and final - ballot, Congressman Huuki endorsed Kelleher, after previously declining to endorse anyone. This finally pushed Kelleher over the needed total, winning him the nomination.
The next day, the reason for the endorsement became clear - Kelleher endorsed Congressman Dan Meyer, a close ally of Huuki's, for the VP slot. Weston's supporters promoted Pettalia - seemingly, against the wishes of the senator - for the role instead. Meyer, however, was easily nominated on the first ballot.
|Color key:||1st place||2nd place||3rd place|| Candidate has|
|Presidential Ballot||Vice-Presidential Ballot|
|James Kelleher||358||Dan Meyer||358|
|Horatio Weston||325||Peter Pettalia||325|
- Senator Mike Prusi, Marquette, 2004 VP Candidate, announced May 22nd, 2011
- Governor Tony Martin, Chippewa, 2008 Candidate, announced June 20th, 2011
- Mayor Steve Butland, Sault Ste Marie, 2008 VP Candidate, announced March 26th, 2011
- Congressman Arlen Tompkins, Escanaba, 1992 and 1996 VP Candidate, 2000 Candidate, announced August 24th, 2011
- Territorial Governor Frank Koehn, Bayfield, announced April 22nd, 2011
After the mixed results in the 2008 elections, and the agreements made at the convention that year, the Socialist Primaries this time around promise to be interesting. With Senator Prusi promised support from the party leadership for at least the lower half of the ticket for his dropping out in 2008, the image has become even murkier. To add even more fuel, the investigation by the League of Nations has meant that their support is likely to increase even more.
Mayor Butland, hoping to capitalize on his national profile gained in 2008, was the first to announce in March of 2011. Territorial Governor Koehn of Bayfield was the next, on April 22nd, Earth Day - not a surprise, given that the Governor is often referred to as a "Green Socialist." Senator Prusi and Governor Martin would formally announce their candidacy in May and June, respectively. And after the announcement by the President that he would not run again, Congressman Tompkins announced that he would run as well. He is likely running in an effort to raise his image, hoping for support for something else.
As with 2008, informal polling showed Prusi and Martin both ahead of the rest of the pack, and very much neck-in-neck. Congressman Tompkins, having the support of the Delta branch of the party, is the only other candidate polling more than ten percent. A poll published by the Sault Star on September 18th had Prusi and Martin virtually tied at nearly thirty percent each, followed by Tompkins at fifteen, Butland at ten, Koehn at five, and "undecided" holding the rest.
Polls conducted in the republic since the Liberal Democratic Debate on October 11th were published on October 16th, in the Sunday Edition of The Mining Journal of Marquette. The picture for the Socialists remained unchanged. Governor Martin had a narrow lead over Senator Prusi, 39% to 37%. Of the rest, eight percent went to Congressman Tompkins, four to Territorial Governor Koehn, with two more going to Mayor Butland. The remainder were still undecided.
The first Socialist straw poll of the election season was held on October 26th, in the state of Mackinaw. As with other polls conducted in the Republic, it too showed Senator Prusi and Governor Martin to be more or less tied. Again, like the rest, Martin held a narrow lead, this time of half a percentage point, over Prusi, leading him 45.7% to 45.2%. Unlike the rest, however, Governor Koehn came in third place, with 5.3%, followed by Congressman Tompkins at 3.1%, and with Mayor Butland in the rear at 0.7%.
The first Socialist debate, held on November 13th in Escanaba, saw much back and forth between Prusi and Martin, with the other candidates relegated to the sidelines. Most observers agreed that no one candidate seemed to win it.
November 16th saw the second straw poll being held, in Marquette. As expected, Senator Prusi easily won it, gathering three quarters of the votes tallied. Most of the remainder of the votes went to Congressman Tompkins.
Polling data collected in the Republic during mid-November was published on November 20th in the Menominee Herald-Leader. In what was likely a temporary boost provided by the news of the concurrent straw poll, Senator Prusi and Governor Martin switched places, and gained a small amount of undecideds, now having 41% and 39%, respectively. Polling for the other three candidates remained almost static, with Mayor Butland falling to one percent and Congressman Tompkins rising to nine percent.
The final Socialist debate occurred on November 28th in Sault Ste. Marie. Perhaps buoyed by the recent polling data, Senator Prusi went onto the attack nearly from the beginning. However, in his attempt to appear to be dominating, he according to those polled came across as being slightly abusive, costing him the debate to the more calm Governor Martin.
Shortly afterwards, on November 29th, the last straw poll was held in state as well. As expected, Governor Martin placed well ahead of the other candidates, with eighty-one percent of the vote, in what could only be seen as a counter to the poll held in Marquette earlier in the month. The majority of the remainder split almost evenly between Governor Koehn, Mayor Butland, and Senator Prusi, with the remaining three percent going to Congressman Tompkins.
National polling done for the Green Bay Press-Gazette over the week following the December 5th Conservative debate was published in their Sunday Edition, on December 11th. Governor Martin and Senator Prusi were tied, again, at forty percent, and the remainder of the field remained static.
The paper also had a poll conducted in the Beaver Archipelago, the site of the first primary. It indicated that at that point in time, Senator Prusi held the lead in the state.
Another national poll was published on December 29th, this time by the Iron Mountain Daily News. In it, Governor Martin retook the lead from Senator Prusi, now holding a narrow forty to thirty-nine percent lead. Governor Koehn and Congressman Tompkins followed at ten points each, and Mayor Butland remained at one percent. And, in polling data from Beaver, thanks to a visit just prior to Christmas by Governor Martin, he took a narrow lead there from Senator Prusi thirty-six to thirty-two percent.
Mayor Butland became the first Socialist to withdraw from contention on February 7th, following a horrible performance in Beaver, in which rumors placed him as getting less than ten votes. He expressed regret at getting involved in the process, figuring that his nomination for Vice-President in 2008 had angered the party membership, and endorsed Governor Martin.
On March 20th, both Governor Koehn and Congressman Tompkins withdrew following poor performances in many of the primaries, and either of them winning any decent number of delegates on "Super Thursday." In concession speeches on opposite ends of the republic, they endorsed Governor Martin, and Senator Prusi, respectively.
The last Socialist Primary was held on June 4th, 2012, in the state of Chippewa. Governor Martin's large advantage in his home state proved to be just enough for him to pass the 325 delegates that had been needed to clinch the nomination, avoiding it being decided at the convention, where his massive number of delegates combined with those of Governor Koehn would have prevailed anyway. As promised by the party leadership, Senator Prusi, who formally withdrew the day of the primary following the votes being counted, was named to the bottom half of the ticket, though it will still need to be formally confirmed at the convention.
The convention was held from July 6th-9th, 2012, in Sault Ste. Marie, and was hosted by Congressman Peter Denley. After many rousing speeches, including one on labor by union leader and congressional candidate Mike Taffarel of Sault Ste. Marie, Governor Martin and Senator Prusi were nominated without incident.
|Color key:||1st place||2nd place||3rd place|| Candidate has|
|Presidential Ballot||Vice-Presidential Ballot|
|Tony Martin||329||Mike Prusi||648|
National Republican Nomination
- Former Mayor Joe Fratesi, Sault Ste Marie, 2000 VP Candidate, 2004 and 2008 presidential candidate, announced November 22nd, 2010
- Congressman Dan Benishek, Iron, 2004 VP candidate, announced June 2nd, 2011
- Territorial Commissioner Frank Lasee, Kewaunee, 2008 VP candidate, announced June 8th, 2011
As with past years, the party holds that primaries are a waste of money, and refuses to hold any.
Fratesi, while announcing that he was running and filing the paperwork, has also stated that he will not attend the convention, and indeed, will stay home even if nominated. He seems to expect to be nominated in absentia. At this point, however, polls indicate that he has around ten percent of the party behind him, so his chances of getting the nomination are quite slim.
Congressman Benishek and Commissioner Lasee both held, in polling done by the party in early September, about forty-five percent of supporters each. So long as nothing happens between now and the convention, one of them will likely gain the nomination, and quite probably, the other will get the lower half of the ticket.
Polls conducted in the republic since the Liberal Democratic Debate on October 11th were published on October 16th, in the Sunday Edition of The Mining Journal of Marquette. The National Republican results remain unchanged, with Congressman Benishek holding a slight lead - 45% to 44% - over Territorial Commissioner Lasee. Former Mayor Fratesi got five percent, and the undecideds held the remainder.
Polling done in mid-November by the Menominee Herald-Leader, and published on November 20th, showed Benishek increasing his lead slightly, now holding forty-six percent to Lasee's forty-three percent. Fratesi held at five percent, and the remainder went to a wrtie-in candidate, suspected to largely be for Commissioner Weber.
National polling done for the Green Bay Press-Gazette over the week following the December 5th Conservative debate was published in their Sunday Edition, on December 11th. Benishek maintained his position, though with a slightly decreased lead, now of one percent over Commissioner Lasee. Fratesi's support dipped even lower, to three percent.
The Iron Mountain Daily News published new polling data for the nomination on December 29th. In this, Congressman Benishek kept his lead, and slightly increased it to two percent over Commissioner Lasee, holding a forty-seven to forty-five percent margin. Fratesis trailed with three percent, far back of the leaders. The remaining five percent went to write-in candidates.
The convention was held from April 23rd-26th, 2012, in Green Bay, and hosted by Territorial Commissioners Frank Lasee and Becky Weber. After two days of speeches by members of the party, led by keynote speaker Mayor Jeffrey Hyslop of Eagle River and the two present candidates, a vote was held on the 25th for the presidential nomination. By a margin of four percent, Congressman Benishek proved victorious over Commissioner Lasee. Following the introduction of Benishek as the nominee the next morning, another vote was held for the vice-presidential slot. The winner was announced in the evening - Commissioner Lasee, by three hundred votes over Territorial Representative Wickstrom, from Iosco Territory.
|Presidential Ballot||Vice-Presidential Ballot|
|Dan Benishek||305||Frank Lasee||449|
|Frank Lasee||281||James Wickstrom||149|
|Joe Fratesi||19||Harold Duke||7|
Campaign, and the Election
Major issues during the campaign are expected to include the economy, sluggish since the end of the Saguenay War and the actions of the Conservative Party during end before said war, along with the proposed restart of the nuclear power plant at Big Rock Point. Of course, these are a host of minor issues as well, championed by one of the parties or another.
Following the conclusion of the Liberal Democratic convention on September 6th, representatives from the National Broadcasting Service announced that in concert with leading newspapers and the Great Lakes News Corporation, they would host a series of debates between the candidates, like in previous years. A debate was set for September 26th in Newberry, along with ones on October 7th in Eagle River and October 15th in Marquette, and a single Vice-Presidential debate on October 2nd in Mackinaw City. The three presidential debates were focused on domestic policies, questions from the audience, and foreign policies, respectively.
The first presidential debate between the four presidential candidates was centered on domestic and economic concerns. It ended up largely being about energy - more specifically, the proposed restarting of the nuclear power plant at Big Rock Point and a proposed tax on so-called "green" companies, which are not currently taxed in the republic. Sometime was also spent on the question of drilling wells in the Great Lakes. Both the Conservatives and the National Republicans have indicated that they support all of these measures, while the Liberal Democrats supported the restart of the plant and drilling in moderation. The Socialists only supported the restart of the plant, much to the chagrin of the so-called "green" wing of their party. None of the candidates made any major errors, and no one was seen as having won the debate in the media.
Six days later, the four vice-presidential candidates had their turn behind the podiums. As expected by pundits, each candidate concentrated on issues favored by both their own specialties, and that of their party, primarily involving helping the economy. Meyer advocated a tax cut for corporations, stating that it would help rebound the economy. Lahti brought up the concept of a tax credit for those with children in daycare. As expected, Prusi spoke on labor extensively, and advocated an increase in the minimum wage. And, in a typical fashion, Lasee demanded the end of minimum wage legislation. Most of them came across as being rather respectful, and not overly emotional. Commissioner Lasee, however, according to most pundits, seemed rather uncaring, and was judged as having lost the debate. Prusi was also considered to have performed the best, appearing to be very knowledgeable.
On October 7th, the four presidential candidates met again for a debate, this time in the city of Eagle River. Members of the audience submitted questions to the moderator, journalist Graham Annable of Sault Ste. Marie, who then chose a number of them to give to the candidates. As was to be expected, most of the questions were more of the "low-ball" variety. Three of the candidates fared well - Kelleher, however, did not, as he appeared somewhat confused on a couple of occasions. Apparently, the debate format did not suit him well, and while he handled himself very admirably besides, pundits noted that he seemed to be "showing his age." Being the oldest of the candidates, by a fair margin, it was a fairly large error. Commentators chalked it up as a loss for him.
Just over a week later, on October 15th, the final debate was held in Marquette, on foreign policy. Key topics were the ongoing scandal with the Lawrence Raiders, the so-called "American Spring," the "new" United States out on the plains, and relations with Canada. Congressman Benishek advocated that the Republic look into closer relations with Torrington, while Governor Martin called for the same with the Canadian government. Kelleher went on record that the current situation was best. Governor Cullen, however, went out on a real limb - he called for the Republic to look into declaring itself an official successor to the United States. The sitting administration, and by extension, the Conservative Party candidate, also received scathing condemnation for the events surrounding the Raiders, though the former senator made sure that it was known he agreed with the criticism. His defense resonated with viewers, who overwhelmingly thought him the winner.
Near the end of October, because of record rains in the region, high water levels were reported throughout the republic. However, in Pukaskwa territory, the high levels caused several creeks to overflow their banks, and flood the town of Wawa. Congress pledged to give the town funds to rebuild, following the election - to the presidential candidates, however, this was not good enough, and all but Congressman Benishek advocated immediate aid be granted. President Newman, in probably his last significant act, agreed, and issued a presidential decree for funds to be sent, in addition to the rescue workers already on the scene. The opposition by the National Republicans was to hurt their image.
Two days before the election, on Sunday, November 4th, polling data from the last polls taken in the Republic prior to the election was revealed by major newspapers. While many smaller polls had been done by the various newspapers and media stations in the republic, this poll was done jointly by the largest of them, the only one of its kind done. The results of the poll indicated that Governor Cullen, riding a wave of backlash against the Conservative Party, easily winning the presidency, with forty-one percent of votes, compared to ex-Senator Kelleher's thirty-three percent. The Socialists and National Republicans polled at sixteen and ten percent, respectively. A majority in the electoral college was projected for Governor Cullen, as well.
Election Day went well - there was little to no trouble with the voting, and even with the addition of the new states, it went smoothly, validating the Carey-Feingold Act of 2008. The last big poll was, in many ways, proven correct - it was not far off the actual results. The biggest difference was that it overestimated support for the National Republicans, and understated that of the Liberal Democrats. Reports indicated that this may have been due, in part, because of how well voting was going, without any problems in the new states, and people shying away from the "Nationals" as a result.
Overall, Governor Cullen won a majority in both electoral votes, and the popular vote, as anticipated. Governor Martin, once again, won the state of Chippewa for the Socialists. The National Republicans failed to win any electoral votes, but placed a strong second in Kewaunee to the Liberal Democrats, though the Conservatives were close behind them there. All parties, except the Conservatives, increased their share of the vote from 2008 as well. Voter turnout slipped from the 2008 elections, dropping from 81.65% of the eligible population, to 74.62%. Thus, out of a total of 663,986 people eligible to vote, 495,468 of them voted, many of them for the first time in the new states.
President-elect Cullen was formally sworn into office on January 21st, 2013.
|Presidential Candidate||Political Party||Home State||Popular Vote Count||%||Electoral Vote Count||Running Mate||Home State|
|Frederick Cullen||Liberal Democrat||Mackinaw||218,650||44.13%||100||Michael Lahti||Houghton|
|James Kelleher||Conservative||Chippewa||159,392||32.17%||52||Dan Meyer||Gogebic|
|Tony Martin||Socialist||Chippewa||77,937||15.73%||30||Mike Prusi||Marquette|
|Dan Benishek||National Republican||Iron||39,489||7.97%||0||Frank Lasee||Kewaunee|