Nearly 29 million more people voted for Hillary Clinton in the 2014 US presidential election, yet she lost the election and Donald Trump became president. This happened because there was an electoral college in Trump's favor. The system of electoral college is in the US Constitution.
The magical score of 270 votes of the Electoral College is very important and it is necessary to achieve it to become President. If this time also goes in favor of Trump, then it will be disappointing for Biden. The magical points of trump 270 can be reached by many routes.
If Trump wins Florida, Pennsylvania, and keeps Arizona, Georgia, Ohio in control, along with North Carolina, his road will be as smooth as 2016. But this time it is being said that the fight is not easy. There are 29 electoral votes in Florida and it is being described as the toughest for Trump. If Trump loses here then it will not be possible to become President again.
The command of America will remain with Donald Trump or who will know it in a few weeks with Biden. But the process of reaching this conclusion is very tedious and complicated. Campaigning for this also proves very expensive.
After all, how is a president elected in America?
When America elects the President, that person is not only the head of state, but he is also the head of government and is also the commander-in-chief of the world's largest army.
This is obviously a big responsibility. In such a situation, it is very important to know how the whole process works.
If you are trying to understand the American presidential election on the lines of the general election of India, then you will be really upset. In India, both the major parties, the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party either announce the prime ministerial candidate or it is decided after the election results are out.
The opposite is true in America. Both the major parties here Republican and Democratic Party also go among the public regarding the selection of the presidential candidate. People who want to become candidates in both parties take part in primary and caucus elections in every state. The one who wins the primary and caucus elections becomes a formal candidate from both parties.
Who can become US President?
According to the rule, to contest the election of the US President, one must be a natural born American citizen. Age should be at least 35 years and should be resident there for 14 years. It sounds so easy to hear. Is it that easy?
The truth is that from 1933 till now every President of America has been a Governor, Senator or Five Star Military General. As soon as the idea of party nomination in the name of a person is considered, he starts getting the attention of the media.
In the 2016 election, 10 senators and former senators, apart from 10 governors and former governors, had landed for a time. In the end, one candidate each from both parties are in the fray.
The nomination process for the presidency in the US election is considered to be the most complex, lengthy and expensive process worldwide. Every four years, those seeking to win Democratic and Republican Party candidacy face primary and caucus elections in all states during the winter and spring seasons before the general election.
After winning primary and caucus elections in every state, they get the support of a certain number of delegates. The candidate who gets a fixed number of delegates of his party in his favor in this process which goes on for months, gets the nomination. Meaning he becomes the formal candidate of the party.
Most presidential candidates start campaigning informally in states like Iowa and New Hampshire a year before the primary events. That is why it is said that the election campaign in America never ends. As part of the nomination process, primary and caucus elections begin from these two states.
In 2016, the primary calendar started on February 1. On February 1, the Republican and Democratic Party held the Iowa Caucus. After this, the election campaign starts in America.
In the 1970s, parties in America made the nomination process more transparent. The picture of the prospective candidate is now clear much earlier. There was a time when the picture was cleared a few weeks before voting.
What is a caucus?
The caucus is organized at school gyms, town halls and other public places. The caucus is a kind of local meeting. They are organized by both the major parties. The expenses incurred in organizing also bear this. Registered party members gather in the meeting and the President talks about supporting the selection of candidates.
Both major parties handle this event in different ways. For example, in the 2016 Iowa Caucus, Republicans used a confidential ballot as their preferred candidate, while Democrats split the group to support their favorite candidate.
The Democratic nominee needs to get special percentage support of the total number of people to get delegates. Those who take part in the caucus technically do not elect presidential candidates, but they elect delegates. These delegates again Vote in favor of your candidate at the convention level.
Delegates are elected from the state for the National Convention and from the Congressional District Convention. The caucus has not been developed for any modern presidential nomination, but political parties in America have been using it before. In a state like Ayova, the caucus is held every other year. However, in most states, primaries are held for the selection of candidates.
What is Primary?
Apart from the caucus, the primary is operated at a regular polling station. Generally, payment is made by the state and is operated by the State Election Officer. Voters usually vote for the candidate of choice through a confidential ballot.
Generally, there are two types of primaries - closed primaries in which only the registered voters of the party take part. The second is open primary. It is not necessary to be a member of any party. In most states before the 1970s, delegates were elected through the caucus, but after the reform in 1972, the nomination process was made more inclusive and transparent. After this, most states adopted the primary.
In 2016, only 14 states (Alaska, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Minasota, Nurbaska, Nevada, North Dakota, Washington, and Wyoming) District of Columbia and four US territories (American Samoa, Northern Mariana) , Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands).
Why is the Iowa Caucus Important?
There were many such incidents in the 1970s that gained political importance for the Iowa Caucus. First, the Democratic Party began the reform process after the 1968 National Convention in Chicago.
Anti-war protesters became violent in those days. The process of limiting the power of the party high command began and the nomination process among the regular members was made more transparent. In other cases the selection process of delegates was timed. In 1972, the caucus in Iowa was held in March or April, now in January, just before New Hampshire.
Who are delegates?
Delegates often become early supporters of party workers, local leaders, or candidates. Along with this, a member of the Delegates Campaign Steering Committee and a long-time active member of the party are also made.
How do candidates win delegates?
Candidates in the Democratic Party usually receive delegates on a proportionate basis. For example, if a candidate gets one-third of the votes or support in the primary or caucus, then one-third of the delegates will get his share. The rules are different in the Republican Party. In some states, delegates meet on a proportional basis and in some states the winning candidate gets all delegates.
In 2016, there were 10 such states for the Republican Party. Mixed methods are adopted in other states. Earlier, there was no delegate in the Iowa Caucus. In this only the support of the party's loyalists was tested but in 2016 the rule was changed.
What are the primary and caucus turnouts?
Turnouts are generally lower in caucuses than in primaries. In 2012, only 6.5% of the vote for the Republican Party in Iowa was attended by the caucus, while there are 20% registered Republicans. In 2016, when both parties started the campaign, 16% people reached. Turnout was 31% at New Hampshire.
How many delegates and how much is needed?
In 2016, the Democratic candidate had to win 2,382 delegates out of a total of 4,763 delegates to become the party's official candidate. Delegates are allocated based on the number of Democratic voters in each state.
On the other hand, to become a candidate in the Republican Party, 1,237 delegates have to win out of a total of 2,472 delegates. The Republican Party has fixed 10–10 delegates in all states. Along with this, delegates are also decided in the states in all the three Congressional Districts and also on the basis of the party's electoral votes in the previous presidential elections.
Who are superdelegates?
Both parties reserve a significant number of delegates. They are not generally obliged to support anyone in the National Convention. Superdeligates in the Republican Party are three each in the National Committee of the state.
These were seven percent of the total delegates in 2016. Superdeligates in the Democratic Party include not only the members of the National Committee but all members of Congress, Governors, former Presidents and Vice Presidents, along with the Senate and House leaders, besides the President of the Democratic National Committee. In 2016, total delegates in the Democratic Party are 15% superdelegates.
Media attention was attracted in the presidential primary of 2008 towards the Superdelegates of the Democratic Party. Then there was a very fierce fight between Senator Barack Obama and Senator Hillary Clinton for the nomination till June. At that time, most people believed that 20% of the total delegates would decide the candidates.
What is the role of independents?
Independent voters are not tied to any party. They do not work as a group. However, many states allegedly hold open primaries and independent voters can participate in it.
In some states, there is also the freedom to leave the party before the election. In such a situation, independents can show their allegiance to the Republican or Democratic Party. A third party such as the Green Party can get delegates, but the third party rarely gets a large number of primary votes, so it does not have much meaning.
What happens at the national convention?
In recent decades, the National Convention has become more like a custom. In this, the candidate is generally confirmed officially who has won enough delegates before.
In this situation it usually becomes like a media event in which the policy of the party, President and Vice President Nominee are announced. However there are also instances when the party candidate was not selected in the primary or caucus and the decision was made in the National Convention. The last time this happened was in 1952 when the candidate was selected after several rounds of voting at the National Convention.
Real election after the announcement of candidates
The real fun of the US elections comes after the formally announced candidates on the Republican Party and Democratic Party's side. It starts after summer.
Both the candidates make sharp attacks on each other across the country with their agendas. On Tuesday, November 8, 6 weeks before voting, there are three presidential debates on television between the two candidates. The candidate who gets the most votes in all the states becomes the President. In the US elections, the electoral college system is very important. It is a group of people who selects 538 electors. The one who gets the support of 270 electors becomes the next President of America.
But not all states are equal. For example, the population of California is more than 10 times the population, so the electors in the two states will not be the same. According to the most recent census, each state has a certain number of electors based on its population.
When citizens are voting for their favorite candidate, they actually vote for the electors. These electors show their allegiance to their candidates. The case is interesting in some states. In almost all the states except Nurbaska and Maine, all the electors are found. If someone wins all the elections in New York, then he will get all 29 electors. In this race, the figure of 270 has to be touched. In this case, swing states matter a lot.
What are swing states?
After two candidates enter the field, the race to get 270 electors starts in all states. Both parties think that they should keep at least some special big or small states under their control.
The Republican Party does not need much campaign in Texas. They do not spend much time here because the voters are already in favor of this party. Similarly, in California, the Democratic Party does not have to work very hard. There are 29 electors in Florida. Florida had a special role in the 2000 election. Florida went in favor of George W. Bush. Bush had failed to win the popular vote at the national level, but he won the Electoral College after a case in the Supreme Court.
What is an Electoral College?
538 electors are selected through the Electoral College. These electors decide the American President and the Vice President. When voters go to vote on Tuesday, November 8, they will choose the electors of their favorite candidates in their state.
The candidate who will get a majority of the electoral votes will be the next President of America. The 538 electors consist of 435 representatives, 100 senators and three District of Columbia electors.
How does electoral college work?
Every four years, American voters vote for the President and the Vice President. In all but two states, the candidate who manages to win the state vote by a majority wins the state electoral. In Nurbaska and Maine the electoral vote is determined by proportional representation.
This means that these two states with the highest number of votes will get two electoral votes (two senators) while the remaining electoral votes will be allocated to the Congressional District. With this rule, both candidates are likely to get electoral votes in Nurbaska and Maine while the winner gets all the electors in the remaining 48 states.
How are Electors Selected?
This process varies from state to state. Generally political parties nominate electors in their state convention. Many times this process takes place through the vote in the Party Central Committee. Electors are usually people with a strong connection to a state elected official, party leader, or presidential candidate.
Do the electors vote for their party candidate?
Neither the constitution nor the federal election law can force the electors to vote for the candidate of their party. There is a law in 27 states that if the candidate has got the popular vote of the state with majority then the electors will vote for the candidate of their party as per the requirement. In 24 other states, but in general, the electors vote only on the candidate of their party.
What happens when no one gets a majority in an electoral college?
If no one gets a majority of the electoral votes then the election goes to the US House of Representatives. The House of Representatives elects three contenders who have won most of the electoral votes. Each state is given the right to one vote. Whoever gets the votes of most states becomes the President. The same process is followed in the election of the Vice President.
Can anyone win an electoral college by losing the popular vote?
Of course, a candidate can win an electoral college by losing out in the popular vote. It happened in 2000 with George W. Bush. He fell behind in the popular vote against Algore but he got 271 against 266 in the electoral vote.