Home Headline US Presidential Election 2020: What you should know about it

US Presidential Election 2020: What you should know about it


The race to the White House has begun fervently, and the outcome will have a significance all around the globe. So where we stand right now and how do you win the presidency?

A bunch of Democrats contending for the party’s nomination has been doing rounds of campaigning and debating over the months.

In the coming months, we will get to know who won the confidence of voters to challenge Donald Trump in November this year.

A delegation con-fab to the convention, what we should know about the presidential election

Primary Parties

Besides other countries, in the United States, only two major parties candidates are considered for the decision making of the election – the Democrats (the liberals, left-of-center party) and the Republican (the conservative, right-of-center party).

Many times, a nominee from other “third” parties participate, with the Libertarian, Green and Independent parties at random putting up a fourth option of the nominee.

People voting in polling place

What’s the ongoing status?

Across the country, the seat for the president’s hopeful is clashing over the party’s nomination in caucus and primary elections also what we call primaries.

With the word “primaries”, there is no mention of it in the Constitution, so it is confined by the party and state laws.

The way general elections are administered by State governments, they exert the primary elections as well. but not the parties.

The State laws also accord the participation of unaffiliated voters, and those registered with the party or open, this is determined by the state, the primaries should be closed.

As per the party rules, candidates win primary elections, either they win all or proportions of state delegates. Thereupon, state delegates vote for them at the party’s convention, post which the presidential nominee from the respective parties is officially named.

This whole process for presidential elections came into play in the 1970s before then, the nominee accustomed by a selection of party members at conventions.

According to the Pew Research Center, in the primaries of both party elections, in 2016, overall of 54 million Americans- eligible voters of a mere 28.05% participated in the process.

What about caucuses?

A scattering amount of states, like Iowa, has caucuses rather than primary elections. Caucuses are usually run by parties in their state provinces itself.

Caucuses provide more compliance to the parties in determining the rules, like who can vote, however, state governments don’t have any part in it. For Democratic caucuses, votes are determined by standing in a room, instead of ballots casting.

Position of both parties in primaries?

Primaries of both the parties are been closing watched, since Democrats who are looking to dethrone Mr. Trump, who is looking to set to be the Republican nominee.

Voters have to elect between moderate liberals like former Vice President, Joe Biden and radical candidates like Senators Bernie Sanders.

About the Republican?

A maximum number of states are going to have primaries, but with Mr. Trump’s name on the ballot, he doesn’t face any serious competition.

Report on Early voting states?

In February, voting was executed in four states, after which Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders came up with the most delegates which included Iowa and New Hampshire.

Even with the caucuses of Nevada, Bernie Sanders emerged but with the fourth state vote coming up of South Caroline, former VP Joe Bidens had requisite victory.

This victory came with the influential endorsement of the state black congressman, James Clyburn, because of which the African-American support was provided.

What is Super Tuesday and its outcome?

The day on which most of the states pr territories will be administering the primaries or caucuses, which was carried out on March 3.

Percentage of delegates which are up for grab, 40% for Democrats and 30% for Republicans.

On the eve of voting, Joe Biden got the required and splendid comeback, when both Buttigieg and Klobuchar supported him after dropping out.

He took by storm in Alabama, Arkansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia.

On another side, Sanders had a landslide victory in his hometown, Vermont, as well as California, Colorado, and Utah.

Till when this will last?

The outcome of all the primaries and caucuses across the country will be announced from February till June.

Well, a nominee from Democratic will be known before then, since candidates attain the votes of delegates through primary elections or caucuses.

In the US, the presidential campaign lasts long as much as 18 months from start to finish, as compared to the UK and France, having the legally defined campaign period.

Former Vice President Joe Biden speaks Feb. 5 at a campaign event in Somersworth, N.H.(Elise Amendola / Associated Press)

When is The D-Day for America?

On July, 13th to 16th, the national convention of Democratic party will be held, where they will announce the nominee for president and vice-president.

Later in the month of August, from 24th to 27th, the Republican National Convention will take place. Till yet, the party hasn’t announced Republican candidate. Trump couldn’t be considered an official candidate until it is announced at the convention.

After this, a total of four debates will take place when the Republican nominee for President or Vice President will acquire the stage with Democratic counterparts. Out of four, the first three debates will take place on 29 September in Indiana, with two more in October. The non-partisan Commission established in 1987 on Presidential Debates, sponsors and run these debates.

On 7th October, in Utah, Vice Presidental debate is set to take place.

Way to win the general election?

The candidate who received most of the popular vote – the sheer number of votes – determines nothing about the outcome of the winner of 3 November general election.

That narrows down to the “electoral college” vote. Out of 538, the one who receives the majority of votes that is half of what it is +1 i.e, 270 wins the White House. Considering this, the states which are populous having an immense number of electoral votes, are crucial for any candidate.

Well, winning in the popular vote has been possible and another side you lose electoral vote, happened in 2000 and 2016 to Democrats Al Gore and Hillary Clinton respectively.

What is meant by “Electoral College”?

This term is meant for officials, say “electors” who have the right to vote on behalf of the states for president.

The representation in Congress is directly proportionate to the number of electors each state has – the sum of senators (two in each state) and representatives in the House (determined by populous).

The states with a big number of electors are California (55), Texas (38), New York (29), Florida (29), Illinois (20) and Pennsylvania (20).

This system leads to the presidential candidate to get the spread of votes from all over the nation and is meant to give weightage to small states.

Swing, blue or red state, what it is?

Republican stronghold in states such as Idaho, Alaska, and many southern states are considered “red states” while “blue states” which are influenced by Democrats are California, Illinois and much of the New England region of the northeast coast.

Whereas, depending on the candidate running, the states change the hands which are referred to as Swing states.

The move the election camps do is they don’t invest resources or send candidates in the state which they are unwinnable, the presidential brawl takes place in swing states which are Ohio and Florida. But in 2020, Arizona, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin are considered as part of swing states too.

Scenes from Donald Trump’s election night party; 9th November 2016 (Getty Images)
Scenes from Donald Trump’s election night party; 9th November 2016 (Getty Images)

How voters cast their votes?

Depending upon states, voting is regulated. With a handful of demands early voting, which lets the registered voter put in their votes in ballot ahead of November 3rd (Election Day 2020).

Voting for people who are ill, disable/handicap, having travel plans or attending an out-of-state school are given an option for mail-in absentee voting.

On the day of Election, others have to be physically present at polling stations to cast their vote in the ballot. No online voting.

No-one wins Electoral College, then?

Well, this is a rare situation, which happened only once in 1824, when John Quincy Adams won the race to White House. No candidate from any party received the majority of votes from electoral, then the House of Representatives intervene and select the president from the top three candidates. Later on, the vice-president is chosen by The Senate from the remaining two candidates.

What happens the night Winner is announced?

After the result, the new president gets a brief period for evolution where he selects his cabinet members and makes plans.

According to the 20th Amendment to the Constitution – ratified in 1933 – mandates inauguration take place on 20 January. An event where the new president is sworn in.

At the congress, with dignified members and delegates ceremony takes place, after the president makes his way back to the White House in a parade to begin their four-year term.


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