In 2008, Barack Obama was elected to the White House convincingly. Just four years later, he is facing a potentially difficult re-election campaign against a strengthened Republican Party. Now, as the Iowa Caucuses are fast approaching, Newt Gingrich has risen from the political dead and has taken the front runner mantle from Mitt Romney. Can Mitt make a comeback? Or will another candidate emerge? Or will the GOP have to draft a new standard bearer to enter the fray?
This scenario, inspired by the detailed accounts in the bestselling book Double Down, gives you everything you need to relive the 2012 race for the White House. Santorum’s surge. Rick Perry’s debating woes. Herman Cain and 9-9-9. Gingrich’s Moon Colony. Romney and the 47% tape. Bill Clinton’s DNC Speech. The debate in Denver. “You didn’t build that.” The 2012 race is on.
1. Over a dozen new campaign events, from Romney’s 47% tape, to Sandra Fluke, Todd Akin, and the Supreme Court ACA ruling, giving the election experience a much more thematic flavor.
2. Conventions are now more important: each night has a series of possible speeches, some that will benefit the nominee, and some that will hurt, but never is the same set of speeches delivered. Will Clinton’s DNC Speech win over undecided voters? Can Rubio give a new face to the GOP with his keynote? Or will Clint Eastwood wander on stage to talk to an empty chair?
3. CPAC-During early February, the GOP candidates muster at CPAC. Similar to the conventions, some candidates will do well and will gain critical support among conservative voters; others run the risk of stumbling, but the results are never going to be the same each time you play.
4. Candidates that dropped out before Iowa have been added back in. Can Herman Cain revive his campaign? What about Tim Pawlenty?
5. During the Spring of 2011, several popular Republicans passed on entering the fray; what if they changed their minds? Could Huckabee, Palin, Jindal, or Barbour emerge from the pack and win the nomination? What about Rudy Giuliani, Scott Brown, or Donald Trump?
6. When Gingrich and Romney were locked in their battle for the nomination, many Republican Party leaders vainly attempted to bring in a draft candidate to unite the party, even well into the primary season. Could Mitch Daniels, Chris Christie, Jeb Bush or Paul Ryan enter late into the race and still win? Or could they not get on all the ballots in time.
Note: While playing as a draft candidate, begin as undecided to simulate the lack of ballot access, and don’t have multiple draft candidates in the race. For a difficult challenge, stay undecided until February, or even March, when some candidates like Daniels and Bush still contemplated entering the race.
7. More endorsers: New endorsers have been added, like Colin Powell, Sarah Palin, and Grover Norquist. Be able to fund your candidacy for weeks by getting the backing of Sheldon Adleson or the Koch brothers.
8. New Historical Details added-Gingrich and Santorum have been taken off the ballots to Virginia, while the Missouri Caucus has been moved up to its correct electoral date (even if the delegates weren’t officially allocated until March), among other new improvements.