By James Paladino ( | First Posted: Nov 07, 2012 08:39 PM EST

A combination photograph shows Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and U.S. President Barack Obama on election day (Photo : Reuters)

The long road to the General Election has run its course, but the 2012 presidential race has provided the internet with a steady flow of memes along the way.

President Obama earned 303 electoral votes, securing a second term as Commander-in-Chief of the United states, and left the former Massachusetts Governor with 206 votes. Whether or not Romney's 47% remark, his binders full of women, or apathy towards Big Bird played into the final results is anyone's guess. However, viral videos, quotes, and pictures can certainly prove toxic to any politician's campaign and change the course of an election.

Todd Akin, the Missouri politician vying for Democrat Claire McCaskill's Senate seat, marred his political career with his "legitimate rape" quote and lost to the incumbent by 15 percent of the popular vote.

Similarly, Republican Richard Mourdock made a controversial comment during a debate that pregnancy from rape "is something that God intended," which spread across the internet like wildfire. Mourdock lost the Indiana Senate seat to Democrat J. Donnelly, 49.9% to 44.4%.

Below are the most notable memes of the election season that took on a life of their own.

Big Bird

During the first presidential debate, Mitt Romney answered moderator Jim Lehrer's question about the role of government and said, "I'm sorry Jim, I'm gonna stop the subsidy to PBS, I like PBS, I love Big Bird, I actually like you too, but I am not going to keep spending money on things to borrow money from China to pay for."


At a private fundraiser, the GOP nominee stated, "There are 47% of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47% who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that's an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what...These are people who pay no income tax...[M]y job is is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives."


At a campaign rally in Fairfax, Virginia, President Obama mocked Romney's changing stances on issues, saying: "He's forgetting what his own positions are, and he's betting that you will, too. I mean, he's changing up so much and backtracking and sidestepping - we've got to name this condition that he's going through. I think it's called 'Romnesia'. That's what it's called. If you come down with a case of Romnesia, and you can't seem to remember the policies that are still on your website, or the promises you've made over the six years you've been running for President, here's the good news: Obamacare covers pre-existing conditions."

Horses and Bayonetts

At the third presidential debate, Obama responded to Romney's claim that the American military required a bigger Navy and jokingly quipped, "You mention the Navy, for example, and the fact that we have fewer ships than we did in 1916. Well Governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets. We have these things called aircraft carriers and planes land on them. We have ships that go underwater, nuclear submarines. It's not a game of Battleship where we're counting ships, it's 'What are our priorities?'"

Binders Full of Women

During the second presidential debate, Mitt Romney responded to an audience members' question about pay inequality for women in the workplace. The Governor noted, "And I said, 'Well, gosh, can't we -- can't we find some -- some women that are also qualified? I went to a number of women's groups and said, 'Can you help us find folks,' and they brought us whole binders full of women."

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