In 2012, the incumbent, Barack Obama, faced the former Massachusetts governor, Mitt Romney. Obama entered election season with a low approval rating of just 40%. Compounding the low approval rating was a high unemployment rate around 8%. As such, it would not be an easy campaign start for the president.
By the end of the campaign, however, unemployment had lowered, and the president gained favor for his response to a terrible natural disaster, Hurricane Sandy. Obama would use these successes to win the election, obtaining 62% of the electoral votes.