FrontPage: NNIGN Last Word: Test Friday
The Making of the President a.k.a, The Steps to Electing the President
There are 7 steps involved in electing the President… • All campaigns have the basic 5 steps, but Presidential elections, since they are for such an important office, have a few extras…
The basic steps are… • Self-nomination • Campaign to win party nomination • Primary elections and caucuses • National Nominating Convention • Campaign to win General Election • General Election • Electoral College meets and votes • Inauguration
Step 1: Self-Nomination • Candidates for the presidency usually nominate themselves up to 2 years before the General Election • They may form an “exploratorycommittee” to find out if they have what it takes to be president • This committee really exists to find out the answer to 2 questions: • Do people like the candidate? • Will they contribute $$ to the campaign?
Some examples of those who threw their “hat in the ring” in 2012… No Democratic candidates challenged Obama for the Democratic presidential nomination…thus, even though there was no battle for that position, Democratic primary elections were still held. • Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum were among the Republicans vying for the nomination…
Step 2: Campaign to Win Your Party’s Nomination for Prez • Occurs in the winter and spring before the General Election • Democratic and Republican presidential candidates campaign across the country. • They are trying to win the primary or caucus in each state. • Winning (or finishing in the top 2 or 3) will give them a # of delegates to their party’s national nominating convention.
Step 2: Campaign to Win Your Party’s Nomination for Prez • Each state uses 1 of 2 methods to select its citizens’ preferred candidate from each party • Primaries – voters in a state choose candidate from their party to run in general election • Can be open or closed…most are…? • Caucuses – • a set of meetings, at the local, county and then state levels, where party delegates choose a candidate
Step 3: Primaries and Caucuses The goal of all of these primaries and caucuses is for the field of candidates to be narrowed down… • Each state can send a certain number of delegates to the Republican and Democratic National Nominating Conventions • (…to choose their party’s candidate officially) • If a candidate wins a state’s Primary or Caucus, supporters of the candidate become that state’s delegates to the NNC.
Republican Primaries/ Caucuses for the 2012 election • January 3rd, 2012 – Iowa caucuses • January 10th– New Hampshire primary • January 21st– South Carolina primary • January 31st – Florida primary • February 4th – Nevada caucuses • March 6th(SUPER TUESDAY)- primaries in… • Alaska, Georgia, Idaho, Massachusetts, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia • **April 24th– Pennsylvania primary • June 5th – California, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, South Dakota • June 26th– Utah Why might some states want to move the date of their primary forward?
Super Tuesday Name for the day in a presidential campaign when many states hold their primaries. In the 2012 campaign, Super Tuesday fell on March 6th (usually in Feb) • Manystates had both their 2012 Democratic and Republican primaries on that day…. • Alaska, Georgia, Idaho, Massachusetts, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia • Candidates can take a huge lead, become a front-runner, or find out they may not have “the right stuff”
Step 4: The National Nominating Convention • Held in the late summer of the election year (August/September 2012) • Delegates from the states decide 2 issues • Candidateto run in the General Election • Party Platform (party’s stance on the issues)
Artist Craig Alan constructs portraits of pop-culture icons using people as pixels. FrontPage: Why do we have the Electoral College? Last Word: Test Friday
Step 4: The National Nominating Conventions • Republican National Convention – • August 27 – 30th, 2012 in Tampa, FL • Democratic National Convention – • September 3rd to 6th, 2012 in Charlotte, NC Which candidate/party do you think gains an advantage due to this order?
Step 5: The Presidential Campaign Trail • Many different methods are used to sway voters for one candidate or the other… • Political Ads • Televised debates • Travel/campaigning/ “stumping” • As you can imagine, these campaigns can get pricey… September thru November of the election year
The Co$tsof Running • The 2008 campaign was one of the most expensive in history Both Barack Obama and John McCain spent hundreds of millions of dollars to run for the highest office in the land… Obama = $450m McCain = $370m
Step 5: The General Election • Takes place on the same day every year • 1st Tuesday after the 1st Monday in Nov. • Next presidential general election? • Voters turn out to cast their ballots for President/ VP and for many other offices as well • But…when voting for President, they are NOT actually casting their ballots for the candidates. • Here is where the Electoral College comes in…
Step 5: The General Election (Electoral College) • When voters in each state cast their votes for Prez/VP, they are actually voting for a political party’s slate of electors • This is a group of “electors” (people who will cast a ballot) from a political party in each state • THESE PEOPLE actually get to cast the “REAL” votes for President and VP • These votes are known as Electoral Votes, since they actually elect the president.
The Electoral College – How does it work? • The winner of each state’s popular vote (the vote of the people) has all of their party’s electors chosen to cast their votes for President and VP. • This is called the “winner-take-all” method (**ME, NE)
For example: • In 2008, the popular vote in PA turned out this way: John Barack McCain Obama 2,655,855 (44%)3,276,363 (56%) • Who won PA’s electoral votes? • Whose electors would be chosen?
The Electoral College • The number of electoral votes each state has can change… • As each census changes the # of Reps., it also impacts the # of electoral votes But…the total number of electoral votes is always… 538 Why this #?
Step 6: Electoral College meets and votes • Where do the electors gather to cast their votes? • How many does the candidate need to win? • What if there is a tie?
Step 6: The Electoral College • Must all electors vote for the popular vote winner in their state? • Give a reason why they would be very likely to vote for the popular vote winner in their state… • **Most electors do vote for the popular vote winner…but a few have not…
Step 7: The Inauguration • Occurs on January 20th of the year following the election • Sworn in by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court
The oath of office… "I,(name),do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."
Quotes from the Framers about a popular election of the president • "A popular election in this case is radically vicious. The ignorance of the people would put it in the power of some one set of men dispersed through the Union, and acting in concert, to delude them into any appointment." -- Delegate Gerry, July 25, 1787 • "The extent of the country renders it impossible, that the people can have the requisite capacity to judge of the respective pretensions of the candidates." -- Delegate Mason, July 17, 1787 • "The people are uninformed, and would be misled by a few designing men." -- Delegate Gerry, July 19, 1787 SO, why do we have the Electoral College?