Road to the White House

 

Primaries

There are many people who would like to become President. From January to June of the election year, the two big parties, Republicans and Democrats, hold primaries in many states. In these primaries, people decide who should become the party’s candidate for the presidential election in November.

 

Conventions

At the end of the primaries , each party organizes a big party called a convention. Thousands of party members meet and select the candidate who was the best in the primaries. At the convention, the candidate also tells the people who will become Vice President if he gets elected .

 

General Election

General Election ballotFrom August to November the candidates of each party travel all over the country, hold speeches and try to get the people to vote for them. On the 1st Tuesday in November the American people vote for one of the presidential candidates .

In most cases, there are only two candidates, a Republican and a Democrat, but in the last elections candidates from other parties have taken part in the election.

 

 

Electoral College

 

Americans do not vote for the President directly. They select electors who represent them in the electoral college .

Each state has a certain number of electors. Big states with a large population, like California have many electors (54) and small states, like Hawaii only have a few electors. All together there are 538 electors who get together in the Electoral College.

In December all the electors meet and elect a president. Most of the time they vote for the candidate who has won in their state. The candidate who has 270 or more electoral votes becomes President .

Candidates often concentrate on the big states with lots of electors. They know that if they win in states like California, New York or Texas they have a good chance of becoming President.

 

Inauguration

On January 20th of the following year the new President and his Vice President begin the new term . They put their left hand on a Bible and take an oath .

Inauguration of President Obama

Inauguration of President Obama

 

The American President - Table of Contents

Presidential Election 2008 - Table of Contents

Downloadable PDF Text- and Worksheets

 

Online Exercises

 

Related Topics

 

 

Words

  • candidate =person who wants to become president
  • certain =special
  • concentrate =focus on
  • elect = to chose somebody by voting for him
  • election = when people vote to chose somebody
  • Electoral College = a group of people who are chosen by the voters of the USA. They get together to elect a President
  • electors =member of the Electoral College
  • electoral votes =votes that each state has in the Electoral College
  • few = not very many
  • good chance of becoming = it is very possible
  • primary = an election at which people vote for a party’s candidate
  • represent =vote for
  • select = chose
  • speech = to talk to a group of people about many things
  • take an oath = a very serious promise
  • take part =to be a candidate in
  • term = the time when a person is President
  • vote =elect