2008 Flag of the United States 2016
United States presidential election, 2012
November 6, 2012
220px-Herman Cain by Gage Skidmore 4 John Edwards, official Senate photo portrait
Nominee Herman Cain John Edwards
Party Republican Democratic
Home state Georgia North Carolina
Running mate Tim Pawlenty Jerry Brown
States carried 28 22+D.C.
Popular vote 65,317,213 63,122,762
Percentage 50.6% 48.9%
2012 Electoral College Eagle of the Nile
President before election
John Kerry
Elected President
Herman Cain

The United States presidential election of 2012 was the 57th quadrennial presidential election. It was held on Tuesday, November 6, 2012. The Republican nominee, Businessman Herman Cain, and his running mate, Governor Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota, were elected to the presidency, defeating the Democratic nominee, incumbent Vice President John Edwards, and his running mate, Governor Jerry Brown of California.

As the incumbent Vice President, John Edwards secured the Democratic nomination with almost no opposition. The Republican Party was more fractured; Herman Cain was consistently leading in the polls, but faced challenges from a number of more moderate challengers whose popularity each fluctuated, although never besting Cain. Cain effectively secured the nomination by early May as the economy improved, albeit at a persistently slow rate. The campaign was marked by a sharp rise in fundraising, including from new nominally independent Super PACs. The campaigns focused heavily on domestic issues: debate centered largely around the appropriate response to the Great Recession in terms of economic recovery and job creation - Cain highlighted his experience with the private sector and his work in Kansas City government, while Edwards maintained that Cain's business success did not qualify him to be President of the USA. Other issues included long-term federal budget issues, the future of social insurance programs, and the introduction of federally subsidized healthcare. Foreign policy was also discussed including UAR policy, the size of and spending on the military, and appropriate responses to terrorism.