It is that time of the year in America when the election campaigning is in full swing, and everyone involved in politics is busy for the race to the mighty White House! The presidential elections this year might even be compared to the popular TV show Game of Thrones (decide the characters yourself!). And as for King’s Landing it just might be the time to replace the king. American politics is quite complex to understand. So, if you want to keep up with your friends debating about Hilary Vs. Donald, you better feed your mind with this interesting list of top 10 facts about the current presidential elections.
The elections are held every four years, and Election Day comes on the first Tuesday of November, which is 8th of November this year. This is going to be the 58th quadrennial U.S Presidential Elections. The candidate in the race to become the President should be at least 35 years old, a permanent US resident for at least 14 years and considered a natural US born citizen. No one can be elected as the president more than twice; therefore Barack Obama is not going to get elected again from the Democratic Party as his presidency period is over.
09. The Voters
Anyone above 18 years can vote if they have registered prior to the elections. Furthermore, there is no declared holiday on voting day, so people have to make their own time to vote. In the 2014 midterm elections, only 34.4 % of the eligible voters showed up to vote- lowest number of voters in 70 years. The citizens clearly do not seem to trust Uncle Sam. With so many allegations on the US government, many people do not support the government and its ideologies and since they have limited choices, they choose simply not to cast their votes.
08. The Parties
Surprisingly, America has only two main political parties who get the presidential nominations unlike all other major democratic countries. Republic Party with a tagline- We believe in America and the Democratic Party with a tagline- Moving America forward. Other independent third parties are the Green Party, the Liberation Party etc.
07 The Indirect Election System
The voters do not directly vote for the candidates for the presidential seat. Rather, they select representatives of each party in their respective states as delegates and they present the nominees for the best candidates of their party to run for Presidency. There are two types of election systems that different states use before general elections- Primaries and Caucasus, to choose the delegates. Some states choose the primary system which is run by government and votes are cast in secret ballots, New Hampshire is one such state. Some choose the Caucasus method which is run by individual parties and an unorganized support group is formed for every candidate and the one with the most supporters becomes a candidate for the Nominating team. Iowa and Texas are some of the states which follow this system starting from 1st of February till 14th of June.
The general elections held in November are also of the indirect kind. The voters vote for another slate of delegates called members of the Electoral College who, in turn, select the President and Vice president for the next 4 years.
06 The mighty Competitors
This year the democratic has only two candidates left: Hilary Clinton, the wife of former president Bill Clinton who served as the former secretary of state and first lady, and Bernie Sanders, US senator of Vermont, despite of not being a member of the Democratic Party, is running in the primary as an independent candidate. In the Republic side, there is Donald Trump, billionaire real estate magnate, Marco Rubio, US senator of Florida, Ted Cruz, US senator of Texas and John Kasich, Governor of Ohio. People like Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Rick Perry and many others were strong contenders but dropped out.
05. The National Convention
On the National Convention day, both parties announce their nominations for the Presidential race. The National convention for the Republican Party will occur between 18-21 July at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. 2472 delegates are expected to be there; so, to win a nomination, candidate has to have a minimum of 1237 votes. For the Democratic Party, the National Convention will be held on 25-28 July at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia with some other events at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. About 4765 delegates are expected to be present and hence a minimum of 2383 votes are required for a candidate to get a Presidential Nomination.
04. The Polls
With polls starting in Iowa from February 1st, 2016, (the first state to conduct the Caucuses) Ted Cruz managed to win the state with 24.5 % majority and then states like Texas, Oklahoma and Alaska and others. At the New Hampshire’s primaries on 9th February, it was Donald Trump with a majority of 35.3 %. The Super Tuesday held on 1st March, 2016 was the day when many states organized the Primaries and caucuses at the same time. From the Democratic Party, it was Hilary Clinton winning 7 states with 486 delegates and Bernie Sanders winning 4 states with 321 delegates. From the Republic Party, it was Donald Trump winning 7 states with 256 delegates, followed up by Ted Cruz winning 3 states and 219 delegates and Marco Rubio winning just 1 state with 101 delegates. John Kasich won no states at all and just 21 delegates, while Ben Carson managed no state as well and only 3 delegates. But nevertheless, all candidates are going neck to neck in the frequent debates organized by channels like Fox, NBC and others. The air time however is dominated by Donald Trump (keep on reading to find out why).
03 The Campaign
Starting with the Democratic Party, Hilary Clinton believes that she can crack the highest and hardest glass ceiling by becoming the first female president of the United States. She aims to diminish the gap between the rich and the poor and make education affordable for the common people. The average campaign money being $46,598,623, Hilary has managed to raise $ 188,410,863 so far, highest among all the candidates.
Bernie Sanders believes in online engagement and wants to work on the economic inequalities. He wants to create a single-payer health care system and mentioned that the Muslim nations should take the responsibility for the ISIS and not the USA. He has managed to raise $ 96,530,993 till now.
Ted Cruz is known for his outspoken nature, hopes to appeal to conservative voters with traditional values and offer an alternative to more liberal candidates. He managed to raise $ 101,708,450.
Marco Rubio focuses on redesigning the federal tax reform plan and creating schemes to support innovation, investment and growth of America. His Campaign money till now is $84,668,011.
John Kasich wants to work towards linking the growth in initial benefits to the consumer price index and not to wage growth. He also claims that he has never and will never support Obamacare, and thinks Russia and Iran should face more sanctions. He has managed to raise $ 27,271,301 campaign money.
Finally, Donald Trump, well, he aims to do a lot and has managed to raise $27,420,826.
02 The Trump Card
His increasing popularity and scandalous statements deserved him a special mention in the list. Did you know that he actually released a game called The Trump card? Although it did not sell. Now, Donald Trump has fans and haters alike. He also wrote in his book that negative publicity is better than no publicity, in other words, controversies…sell. He mainly expertises in talking and boasting which seems to be going pretty well for him. He has made serious allegations on almost every other candidate and on politicians saying that they only talk and do no work which gets you nowhere. He says the beauty in him is that he is rich. He wants to build walls around The US-Mexico borders because he thinks they all are criminals and loathes about how no one builds better walls than he does. He also claims to bomb Syria and he either loves the Chinese or he is very much afraid of them. And despite of all these controversies, he somehow has managed to gather a lot of supporters. Yes, he gained an 18% GOP and won many states in the primaries. And it is not until the judgement day we will know where he stands.
01 Judgement day
As per the recent stats Hilary Clinton seems to have a 67% chance of winning the race. Following her is Donald with a 20 % chance and then Bernie with a 7 % chance and next are John , Ted and Marco with 3 %, 2% and 1% respectively. But nothing can be said until the National Convention Day.
Each state is worth a certain number of Electoral College depending on its population. The candidate with the most number of votes wins the race and becomes the new president.
The tenure of the current president, Barack Obama is not over till 20th January 2017, so whoever wins will come into action after that date. So, who is it going to be? Hilary with her girl power? Or Donald, who thinks global warming is a hoax? (Leo’s Oscar speech certainly did not convince him) or one of the others? May the best candidate win the race to the White House.