Election 2012: 12 reasons Obama won and Romney lost

President Obama went into his reelection fight facing significant head winds – most important, high unemployment and slow economic growth. But for a multitude of reasons, including Obama’s positives and Republican challenger Mitt Romney’s negatives, Obama succeeded. Here’s our list.

5. Romney's extended primary season, Part 1

  • close
    Standing with their families, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney stands with his wife Ann, and Republican vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan, second right, stands with his wife Janna after Romney's concession speech at his election night rally in Boston, Wednesday, Nov. 7.
    Charles Dharapak/AP
    View Caption
  • About video ads
    View Caption

After the 2008 cycle, the Republican National Committee changed its rules for primaries, with an eye toward extending the process and allowing the strongest potential nominee to rise to the top. This came after seeing the great Obama-Clinton rivalry, which forced the eventual nominee, Obama, to organize early in all 50 states and seasoned him as a candidate. True, the GOP’s 20 primary debates improved Romney as a debater – thank you, Newt Gingrich – but he did not clinch the nomination until the end of May. That delayed his ability to fundraise for and focus on the general election.

5 of 12