Electoral Politics For Teens (page 2)

Electoral Politics For Teens

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Updated on Nov 1, 2012

The Republican Party also has two types of delegates: pledged and unpledged. Out of 2380 total delegates, 1917 are pledged and have to indicate support for a certain candidate at the Republican Convention. Like Democratic delegates, they are usually elected or chosen at the state and local level. The unpledged Republican delegates are free to vote for any candidate and are not bound by the election results of their states. To win the Republican presidential nomination, a candidate has to win 1191 delegate votes.

Primary election: This is an election during which Democratic and Republican party members vote on who they want to be their party's presidential candidate. Primary elections serve to narrow down the field of candidates.

General (or popular) election: On the Tuesday following the first Monday of November, millions of U.S. vote to elect, among other officials, the next president and vice president. However, when a person casts a vote in the general election, they are not voting directly for an individual presidential candidate. Instead, voters in each state actually cast their vote for a group of people, known as electors. These electors are part of the Electoral College and are supposed to vote for their state's preferred candidate.

Electoral College: Each state has a number of electoral college votes, depending on population and representation in Congress. California has 55 while some smaller states have 4. There are 538 presidential electors, and a presidential candidate needs 270 electoral college votes to win the presidency. The Constitution does not require the electors to vote as pledged, but many states do. Winning the popular vote may not ensure a candidate's victory, and the goal of each candidate is to win over the right combination of states that will give him or her 270 electoral votes. If there is no majority winner after the electoral college vote, the US House of Representatives votes to determine who the next president will be. Party

Conventions: After the primaries and caucuses are over, during the summer before the general election, each party holds a convention during which their nominees for president and vice president are formally chosen. This year, the Democratic National Convention will be held in Denver, CO from August 25-28, and the Republican National Convention will be held in Minneapolis, MN from September 1-4.


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