The summer is over. From now on, the less engaged and the less politically interested parts of the electorate will tune in and observe the battle between incumbent President Barack Obama and his Republican challenger Mitt Romney.
The following are the important milestones in the race ahead:
- Anytime between now and the Republican convention, Mitt Romney will announce the name of his vice presidential candidate. In some way, this is the most important decision a presidential candidate reaches because it is irreversible after the election. After the election, a President-Elect can distance himself from all his plans and campaign promises. However, if Romney were to win the White House, his running mate would ultimately become the next Vice President.
- The party out of power goes first with its convention. Therefore, the Republican convention will take place from August 27 – 30 in Tampa, Florida.
- The Democratic convention will take place from Sept. 3 – 6 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Historically, conventions are an important rendez-vous between the political actors, the media and the voters. Four years ago, more than 20 million people tuned in and watched the acceptance speeches.
- During the month of October, the debates will take place. The first one will be held on October 3 on domestic policy. On October 11, the vice presidential debate between Vice President Joe Biden and the GOP Vice Presidential Nominee will take place. On October 16 the second presidential debate will take place. It will have a so-called town hall format where citizens can ask questions about both domestic and foreign policy. On October 22, the last presidential debate will take place on the issue of foreign policy. Four years ago, more than fifty million people watched the debates on television.
- On Tuesday November 6, the actual election takes place.