Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney clinched the Republican nomination for President today with a win in the Texas primary.
Romney has been the presumptive nominee since Super Tuesday, but finally captured the 1,144 delegates needed to win the nomination.
There are 160 days until Election Day. The next five months are going to be filled with name-calling, finger-pointing, and lots and lots of TV ads.
The 2012 presidential election is set to be the most expensive campaign, in terms of combined spending, in history.
Mitt Romney is backed by his own personal wealth as well as the rejuvenated Republican National Committee, which has increased fundraising under the guise of Chairman Reince Priebus.
Barack Obama is financially supported by the political machine that is the Democrat Party. Obama's campaign spending is expected to reach $1 Billion. Yes, that's "billion" with a "b".
This will be a campaign like no other. Barack Obama has no accomplishments to speak of as President, but incumbent Presidents have done well in modern history, save Bush 41 and Jimmy Carter.
The Supreme Court will decide next month whether or not Obama's health care overhaul is constitutional. The decision will affect favorability ratings as the President has touted this legislation as his signature accomplishment.
If the law is upheld, it will be just as bad for Mitt Romney as it will be good for Obama. For two years, Republicans have been contending that the law violates several parts of the Constitution, namely the Commerce Clause and the Tenth Amendment. If the Supreme Court upholds the law, there will be no more recourse for ObamaCare opponents.
On the other hand, Barack Obama will suffer greatly if the Supreme Court strikes down the law. Other than falsely claiming he deserves credit for the killing of Osama Bin Laden, Obama has no other record to run on.
The economy has not recovered by any significant measure. Americans are still starving for jobs.
Energy prices have risen sharply under Obama, partly because of his failure to take steps to reduce our dependence on foreign oil.
Lastly, Obama has been weak on foreign policy. Iran is more of a threat to us and our allies. He has gone out of his way to aid groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood and has not stopped foreign aid to Pakistan, which is acting against America's best interests.
Although President Obama claims he is pro-Israel, he has chastised the Jewish nation for building settlements for its people and not being cooperative in peace negotiations with the Palestinians.
It is hard to tell this early in the game who holds the advantage. If you go by the poll numbers, Obama has a slight edge over Romney.
The national polls mean very little. The Presidency is won via the Electoral College. Certain states such as Ohio, Florida, and Pennsylvania will be the keys to victory.
Mitt Romney's choice for Vice-President may also impact the race. Traditionally, candidates pick running mates based on regional identity. In this case, we have a Republican nominee from a liberal area of the country, the Northeast.
Normally, the nominee would choose a running mate from a different region in order to gain more nationwide support. In this case, the Republicans have very little chance of winning Romney's home state (Massachusetts) or any states in the surrounding region, and they already are strong in the other areas (South, Midwest, etc.).
Who Romney will pick as the VP nominee will be the mystery of the summer until he names a running mate. It could be a surprise, like Sarah Palin was in 2008, or it could be one of the few names that have been thrown around already.
Marco Rubio, Chris Christie, and John Kasich have all been mentioned as possible running mates for Romney. Christie is a popular governor of a liberal state, and may help deliver New Jersey to Romney.
Rubio is a young superstar Senator from Florida, a swing state. Kasich also hails from a pivotal state, Ohio, but does not have the national name recognition of either Rubio or Christie.
Other long shots include Bobby Jindall, Paul Ryan, and former GOP candidates Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum.
The outcome of the 2012 Presidential election will be determined by many, diverse factors. There are still events that have yet to unfold which will affect the election, so it is impossible to say who is in the lead right now.
All I know is that Republicans are more involved and more disgusted at the current state of affairs than ever before.
Unlike our friends on the other side of the aisle, Republicans will admit that our number one objective is to remove the incumbent President, and his band of merry idiots from office.