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The vice presidential nominee also affected the Republican Party. It is argued that without an enthusiastic party base, it wouldn’t have been possible for McCain to run a competitive campaign. But there are those who argue that Palin was a polarizing figure, that for every republican that she attracted, she repelled democrats and more especially independents that would have otherwise voted for McCain.  

The issue of partisanship is a long term force that plays to the advantage of both parties. The American electorate has been partisan for a long time, and by the look of things, this does not look like it will change in the near future. Partisanship in America has in the recent past ensured that no single party clings to the presidency for long, this factor in 2008 played to the advantage of the democrats because the Republicans had been in office for two terms, it was time for the democrats to take over, and their choice was Obama. Ideology and values are also long term forces that determine an election. There are those who will have decided which party they will vote for long before the campaign basing on their ideologies and those of the parties. In this case the ideologies of the Republican Party seemed not to rhyme with those of the electorate, and therefore many had long decided to vote for the democrats, this worked in favor of Obama (Campbell p 31).

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Candidates’ values and histories also play a determining role. In this case McCain appeared to have an upper hand. But because citizens wanted change, they saw him as a continuation of the old, and therefore denied him the vote. Obama on the other hand represented the new era, the change that many Americans wanted, he was therefore the favorite.  The economic meltdown was a short time force that helped Obama in his campaigns whereby to many Americans, it was believed that it was the Republican government that had failed to address the issue before it got out of hand, an issue that Obama picked on to promise economic revival. And lastly the issue of race, an Obama election represented racial equality, a step into a new America that recognizes the rights of all (Ceaser, Busch, & Pitney, p 25).

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