reply to post by dingleberry77
The presidential election happens in two stages. First there is a primary, then there is a general election. We are now just starting the
During the primaries, voters chose which candidate will represent their political party in the general election. One need not be any sort of party
elite to vote in the primaries. Any U.S. citizen can join any of the political parties and vote in the primary election.
In most primaries, the voters simply vote for their candidate by secret ballot. In Iowa, there is a caucus format. The caucus format is complicated
and involves voters congregating in town hall like meetings and deciding amongst eachother whom they are going to vote for.
The primaries occurr over a span of a few months. The first primaries are in Iowa and New Hampshire. Other states will have their primaries later.
The primaries culminate in the national conventions of the parties.
The more votes a candidate gets during the primaries, the more delegates that candidate will get to send to the national conventions. The delgates at
the national conventions ultimately chose the presidential candidate of each party.
The general election happens after the primaries. The general election in the U.S. generally consists of a Republican Candidate running against a
Democratic candidate. Other people can run for president besides the Republican or Democratic candidate, but these people are not likely to be
The general election is not a direct popular vote. The candidate that gets the most votes does not necessarily win, although the candidate that gets
the most votes usually wins.
In the general election, each state gets a certain number of electoral votes based on its population. The winning candidate in each state gets all of
that state's electoral votes. The candidate that wins a majority of the electoral votes wins the presidency. There have been a few times in history
when the candidate with the most electoral votes did not win the overall popular vote.
In the 2000 election, more people voted for Al Gore than George W. Bush. Bush won Florida by a few hundred votes. (Of course there are people around
here that believe Bush did not really win Florida but that is another story.) Even though Bush won Florida by the slimmest of margins, he got every
single one of Florida's votes. Florida is also one of the most populous states and therefore had a lot of votes. This enabled Bush to beat Gore,
even though Bush lost to Gore in the overall popular vote.