ArchDaily U.S. Election Poll: Where do Architects Stand?

  • 23 Oct 2012
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  • Architecture News Articles
For architecture there is much at stake in this, where two contrasting visions of government’s role in the economy are boiling over.

The outcome of the 2012 United States presidential election will have global economic implications. In the midst of one of the most severe global recessions in history, policymakers around the world are waiting to see which way the United States will go this coming November. Will it stay the course of potential recovery—as yet incomplete—set by President Barack Obama? Or will it veer to the right into the still vague and undefined policies of challenger Mitt Romney?

For architecture specifically there is much at stake in this, the most expensive presidential race in history, where two contrasting visions of government’s role in the economy are boiling over. The Democrats advocate a course of continued federal investment and regulation to steer the country through rough economic waters they say were created by eight years of Republican policies. The Republicans point the finger and say Obama’s policies have not succeeded. They prioritize bringing down the deficit, reducing the size of the federal government and less regulation. Both sets of policies claim to be the answer to get the economy growing again.

Regardless of who wins the chances that economic growth will magically spring back to pre-recession levels are slim to non-existent. But whose policies would be more likely to at least make the long climb out of the well more tolerable?

Vote in our Presidential Poll after the break

Would an Obama presidency or a Romney presidency be more likely to help the economy gain long-needed traction?

Some of the broader  issues to keep in mind: job creation; economic climate for small businesses (majority of firms); tax code; housing; infrastructure; government spending; health care; energy policy; foreign relations—especially in architecture hot-spots like China.

For more on policy positions, see the following links:

The Telegraph US Election 2012 Guide

The Washington Post also has a thorough breakdown of candidate positions on different issues. Just click on the issue to see a comparison.

As you may have guessed, I am biased. So for this reason we are conducting what we hope will be the definitive election poll for the architecture community. Other polls have captured a few hundred to a couple thousand respondents. Just image the sample we could get if everyone on ArchDaily were to participate. Where do we stand as a profession? Are firm owners more likely to vote differently from firm employees? Are there differences state-to-state?

Finally, if you are not a United States citizen, we would still like to hear your opinion about whom you think would make the best choice. So please take a couple minutes to answer the following questions.

You can vote until 23:59 EDT next sunday. We will publish the Poll results on monday.  

Cite: Horton, Guy. "ArchDaily U.S. Election Poll: Where do Architects Stand?" 23 Oct 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed 25 May 2015. <>
  • Kian

    I’m certainly biased too. At the same time, I think both candidates are not discussing urban spatial issues that are certainly important to architects and urban planners/designers. I wrote a blog post about this – both Obama and Romney, as “urban candidates,” neglect the urban:

  • Martin

    Wow! How absolutely biased can an article be? I know architecture is the usual forte of this website, but could you pretend at least to be objective on political matters?

    • David Vera

      I don’t think architects should pretend to be objective on political issues. I am happy someone at ArchDaily has an opinion… more people should be the same way. I’m Canadian and I know conservative governments tend cut critical art programs and nearly halt the progress of culture. The USA should be so happy to have Obama actually wanting to continue to try and save that country.

      • Martin

        Because, as the world has seen, Obama has done a stellar job of bringing the USA back from the brink…oh wait, no he hasn’t! Hope. Really?? When architectural graduates are sitting without any work whatsoever and all the Obamanation can think of is to print more money??? Wonderful solution! Because our pensions, our savings, home prices, investments, salaries and such are not dependent on the value of the dollar, are they? Please note the dripping sarcasm. I don’t pretend to be objective, but then again, I’m not a news source. Archdaily on the other hand…

  • Joshua Eggman

    Actually, Obama HAS done a stellar job bringing the US back from the brink. It’s unfortunate Martin is both unaware of that fact and also seemingly under the assumption the basic fundamentals of our economy and its relationship to the value of the dollar are going to change under a GOP president. The libertarian/Ron Paul/End-the-fed candidacy has zero chance of becoming a reality this election. Period – which is why this article frames the choices correctly.

  • brian

    “Will it stay the course of potential recovery—as yet incomplete—set by President Barack Obama? Or will it veer to the right into the still vague and undefined policies of challenger Mitt Romney?”

    Vague and undefined policies of Romney? Is the Obama policy clear in any way? Has there even been a budget passed since he took office? Not saying that Romney is absolutely clear but considering that Obama took office with a game plan of “Hope and Change” I am pretty sure Romney’s policies are more clear than Obama’s ever were.

  • David Vera

    Martin, you should be thankful that Obama was elected. As bad as things have been recovering from 8 years of horrible misery of the Bush administration… they could have been 1000x worse if the Republicans continued their reign of idiocy. I am glad the semi-retarded conservative religious freaks didn’t vote as much as they could have. Everyone in your country should give Obama props for doing what he did. Four more years is the best solution for you guys…. just saying.

    • Greg

      What he did? … What did he do? Four years of trillion plus deficits, increased national debt to 16 trillion, added about 10 million people to the food stamp register, add 8 million to long term disability, never passed a budget, added a new tax to cover the new government health care, and close Guantanamo? I was being facetious with the last one.

      By the way, the first 6 years of Bush’s administration saw prosperous growth. It was only when the Clinton’s policies of loosening of Federal regulation regarding banking and housing that happened while Bush was presiding that people tend to focus on and blame Bush’s admin.

    • Martin

      I should be thankful? Really, Mr Non-affected Canadian? Bush was by no means a great statesman, but neither is a certain publicity whore who was crowned and elected by a subversive, underhanded and devious media. A man with a past and connections that as an understatement can be called ‘questionable’. A man who has less political experience than Arnie, and thats saying something. And by the by, you’ve completely slated and prejudicially discriminated against a large portion of the American public by labelling them ‘semi-retarded’ and ‘freaks’, the first amendment does not extend to Canada…hate speech and all that #just saying. You don’t have to live with the consequences of this semi-literate Hollywood hobnobbing elitist puppet. A man with an IQ in double digits, if we’re lucky.

      • Mark

        Martin & David,

        Lets keep the cross-border banter to a minimum. Martin, if you think that Canada is completely unaffected by our policies and elections – then I’m afraid you have a complete lack of understanding of NAFTA and our relationship with our closest neighbor and ally. Canada is our largest importer of oil and natural resources, and architecturally speaking – we are tied at the hip. Our slumped economy has a drastic effect on the Canadian economy, and in return the prices of raw minerals and materials coming from that side of the border directly effects us. Let’s not be naive. And please – pick up a book and pay attention – this is the kind of ignorance I am sick of seeing from my fellow Americans. We are no longer the most powerful nation, we are almost a third-world country in some states, let’s start over and try to be a bit more friendly on the world stage.

        David – I understand that watching the politics of the US from abroad can be a bit questionable – but do keep in mind that the media outlets portraying either candidate are inherently biased. Its nothing to get upset about (as many here are) its just the simple fact of perspective and inherent values. Obama may be portrayed as a saviour from the Bush days – but to be quite frank, I think anyone (short of McCain) would have been. No one denies the bad hand he was dealt, and there’s only so much one man can do with a country who’s economy and world status is crumbling. I think people here are mainly frustrated with the state of it all, and are trying to find someone to blame. Just be careful about making such strong statements about any one party – some people take it personally (as I’m sure you know).

        Its funny watching all these partisan people bicker like old women back and forth. I’m an independent and always will be. Do yourselves a favor – don’t vote for an ideology, vote for policy. Thats what affects you the most. The only difference between democrats and republicans is that democrats want to increase the debt by increasing government programs and republicans want to increase our debt by increasing our military. Both are appropriate for different times.

        At the moment, I’m a little worried with both camps – but on the whole, Romney has shown a complete lack of understanding of the greater picture in terms of his policies long term outlook, and Obama is pushing a foreign policy agenda a bit too hard for the current economical climate.

        Conclusively – architecture shouldn’t be politicized. So let’s stop the whining about healthcare and social programs. Especially with Canadians who – frankly, have a much better understanding of how a proper functioning healthcare and social agenda actually functions.

        Lets see what happens next month…

  • Walt

    Still clinging to a two party ideology ? “Oh yes, this government will save us” or “it’s that governments fault”. They only ones “saved” have been the banks with “the basic fundamentals of our economy” being high-jacked as the dollar’s devaluation attest to. As per blame, the government is simply an enabler of consequence. Take responsibilty and care for yourselves, ourselves, and prepare accordingly.

    • ART

      We (“THE ARCHITECTS”) are like sitting ducks for all this policies. Look at Richard Gage’s work and get inspired.