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Electing a president

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1 Electing a president

2 Step One: Organize and Planning
Official Constitutional Requirements Three requirements Age: 35 Citizenship: Natural born citizen Residency: Resident of US for last 14 years

3 STEP 2: State Caucuses and Primaries
Purpose: Small meetings, where people come together to select delegates First state: Iowa Importance: as we have seen, Iowa can give a huge boost to a candidate (Obama) or force people out of the race early (Biden and Dodd)) Primaries State elections with in a party to get delegates support at the national convention 3 kinds: open, closed and binding First state: New Hampshire Importance: weeds out candidates, proves who can win and where

4 STEP 3: Win Nomination at Convention
Purpose of convention: Choose party’s candidate Where do we hold the convention: Big electoral state Why: Get media exposure for party and candidate What is the Platform Committee: Writes rules for convention and writes the party’s stance on current issues (that is voted on by delegates) Significance of the Keynote address: kicks off convention, sets tone and exposes an “up and coming star” of the party Selection of the Nominee: as many ballots as it takes to get the majority support of delegates Acceptance speeches: Accepts Picks the VP running mate Call for unity: get the party faithful fired up for the Fall election

5 STEP 4: Campaign against other Parties
Formal start of the campaign : Kick off is the Labor Day weekend: the beginning of September; 8 weeks to package the candidate Time constraints: Campaign needs to decide its strategy for winning the elections; where to campaign, how to spend resources; swing states are states that can “swing” the election because they have more electoral votes or independent voters that can be swayed to vote for either party Use of Media: Decide how and where to spend money; ads, radio, talk shows, TV Debates: A candidate has to decide if (s )he will participate; if so when, where, the format.

6 STEP 5: General Election
Day America votes: Presidential elections are always the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November; every four years; always in even number years Voting: goes on all day and polls close at 8:00pm Exit Polls: gets info about how people voted as they exit the polling place Media Coverage: As the east coast polls close, broadcasting the outcome can affect the west where the polls are still opened

7 STEP 6: Electoral College
Electoral System: the people who really elect the president Number of electoral votes needed to win: 270 Electoral votes by state: number of representatives and+ 2 senators = electors Vote: Each states sends electors from the winning party to the capitol to vote for president on the first Monday after the 2nd Wed. in December Plurality vs. majority: Most popular vote vs 50% +1 Problems with the system: Popular vote doesn’t win; electors aren’t obligated to vote any one way; messy system if no one gets 270 electoral votes

8 STEP 7: Transition Period
Lameduck President: Outgoing president President elect: Briefed by appropriate government agencies Secret service protection: Full time police protection for president and family Transition: Cabinet selected, inaugural address written; starts putting the staff in place. An office and staff is provided by the government

9 STEP 8: Inauguration When: January 20th
Oath of office: Sworn in by Supreme Court Justice; gives the inaugural speech to inspire the country, Parade, if weather permits, the president and family walks down Pennsylvania Ave., assumes the job Inaugural Ball: There are many parties that take place that night; corporate sponsors; the president and VP and spouses go and make an appearance at all of them.

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