It was very disconcerting to hear the Europeans say that Americans can't elect the president they want after the 2000 election. In 2012, this embarrassment can be avoided with Obama winning both electoral and popular votes.
As for 10,000,000 popular votes lost by Obama compared to the 2008 election results, this was probably to be expected since many who voted for him in 2008 with high hopes are disappointed by some of the promises that were not kept. In fact, one acquaintance of mine who had voted for Obama in 2008 chose to vote for a green candidate to send out a message to Obama. I learned that the disappointments involved were the following issues: 1) not pulling out of Afgahnistan, 2) allowing bailout of banks, 3) not fixing the healthcare system, 4) allowing Monsanto to continue producing GMO products.
It's good to send out a message to Obama but is it really worth withdrawing support? I wonder what compromises had to be made by the Obama administration that caused the president to fall short of the promises he made. Perhaps the problems can still be fixed, who knows, if the president is given a chance to run the country for another three years.
Apparently, there is a way in some states to make it possible for people to vote for an independent candidate without giving advantage to another candidate whose political platform they don't wish to embrace:
"In New York State, for example, there is a Liberal Party and a Conservative Party, and both are on the ballot at every election. The Liberal Party usually nominates the same person as the Democrats and the Conservative Party usually nominates the same person as the Republicans. As long as each party gets enough votes, it retains its status as a recognized party and gets on the ballot automatically at the next election. It has been suggested that if Ralph Nader were to choose the Kerry electors as his electors in each state he gets on the ballot, then people could express their support for him, and provide impetus to his movement, but a vote for Nader would (literally) be a vote for Kerry. This would no doubt encourage many people to vote for him knowing that such a vote would not help George Bush." http://www.electoral-vote.com/evp2012/Info/electoral-college.html